Rwanda’s economic recovery efforts get Rwf9bn boost

A woman picks tea in a plantation in Rutsiro District. Agriculture and livelihoods sector receives $5 million. / File.

Efforts to facilitate economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic have got a boost worth $9.2 million (approx.Rwf8.7 billion) from Network of International NGOs operating in Rwanda.

Fixing the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will cost the Government over Rwf800 billion over two fiscal years.

 

The spending would propel economic growth rate to an average of 8 per cent by 2022.

 

Rwanda has started to roll out a special economic recovery fund estimated at over $200 million (approximately Rwf186bn).

 

The government has injected an initial $100 million to kick-start the fund and plans to work closely with development partners, institutions, organizations, foundations among others to raise the funding

According to the NGOs, part of its support has been directed towards agriculture sector, vendors and savings groups.

“Agriculture and livelihoods sector received $5 million including cash transfers and support to farmers, vendors, saving groups as well as research studies on the impact of Covid-19,” the statement reads.

The contribution, both in cash and in kind, has been directed towards seven critical sectors, with health taking the main share as direct support to the Ministry of Health.

“Health support worth $2.7 million  went to capacity building, cash transfers, human resources,  water, sanitation and hygiene, laboratory equipment, leadership, medical commodities, screening and surveillance, risk communication, social behavior change and others.”

Given as a response to the call by the Government of Rwanda, most of the contribution was delivered to districts through local Civil Society Organizations.

Collected from 50 NGOs out of 84 network members, the funds were mobilized through repurposing of existing budget, provision of additional funds for Covid-19 and through staff contribution. 

According to its latest Annual Report (2018/19), the network annual contribution to the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) in four sectors of education, health, agriculture amounted to $134 million.

Of the amount   49 per cent was provided to the education sector, 44 per cent to the health sector and 41 per cent to agriculture.

The Chairperson of the network, Papa Diouf said that the support will strengthen the fight against the impact of the pandemic.

“We have always had a great partnership with the government and other development partners and we believe our joint efforts will re-build households to absorb the shock created by this pandemic,” he observed.

The unprecedented crisis came as a shock when most INGOs were not prepared leaving impact on ways of working, staffing and programmes.

However, INGOs – like most Civil Society Organisations and the private sector – have made effort to ensure business continuity and support vulnerable communities who were the most affected by the crisis, he said.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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