EU pledges Rwf52.8 billion to Rwanda's COVID-19 response

The Delegation of the European Union to Rwanda has announced a commitment of Rwf52.8 billion (€52 million) to help the country in mitigating the new coronavirus crisis.

In a tweet posted Thursday, April 9, the mission said it's working on supporting the government of Rwanda to "sustain social protection measures to the most vulnerable groups of the population and those strongest hit by the lockdown."

 

The commitment would be part of the European Union's Team Europe programme to support partner countries around the world with €20 billion to fight the coronavirus, according to EU Commission's vice-president, Josep Borrell Fontelles.

 

EU's Jutta Urpilainen in charge of international partnerships said the funding is designated for countries that lack "functioning health systems, economic dynamism and social safety nets."

 

Lately, the government has been approved hundreds of billions of Rwandan francs by global agencies to cushion the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.

On this note, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning said that there have not been official proceedings regarding EU's support, yet, but a transaction could be expected by early May.

Covid-19 outbreak has reshaped lives of people, businesses and economies. The pandemic has nearly halved Rwanda's economy projections and sterilized numerous payrolls.

With borders shut down since March 22, to halt the spreading of coronavirus, in-country movements - except those offering essential services - are also halted until April 19.

After three weeks of shelter-in-place, the informal sector is witnessing the worst downsides despite the government's effort to alleviate a hunger crisis.

In response, the government on March 28, launched a social support initiative to vulnerable families who have been affected by the lockdown.

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister, Edouard Ngirente announced a forfeit of April salary by senior officials including Cabinet Members, Permanent Secretaries and heads of public agencies to contribute to social protection of vulnerable citizens.

In addition to government support, many citizens countryide have offered their hand by donating money, foodstuffs and toiletries to needy households.

To date, 110 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 disease, of whom 7 have recovered.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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