The governments of Japan and Rwanda on Friday agreed on Japan’s yen loan of 10 billion yen (approximately $91 million – about Rwf83bn) to supplement Rwanda’s effort to tackle malnutrition through Japan’s Sector Policy Loan for Nutrition Improvement through Agricultural Transformation.
Officials noted that this is Japan’s first Sector Policy Loan to the Government of Rwanda.
The deal was signed Friday between Finance and Economic Planning minister, Uzziel Ndagijimana and Takayuki Miyashita, the Japanese ambassador to Rwanda.
Also present was Shin Maruo, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), who also signed the loan agreement with Ndagijimana.
Ndagijimana said: "It is the first time the government of Japan is providing a loan through our budget support. This is evidence of the Japanese government's trust in our systems and efficiency as regards the use of money for development initiatives."
According to the Ministry of Finance, since 2012, Rwanda has seen the decline of stunting among children of age between 6 months and 5 years from 42% to 35% in 2018, this is only a 7%-point reduction in 6 years, far short of Rwanda’s target to reduce stunting below 19% by Rwanda fiscal year 2023/2024 .
Despite substantial growth in agricultural production over the past 10 years, food security and nutrition remain concerns, especially when looking at the vulnerability to shocks at the household level.
The programme will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), the National Early Childhood Development Programme (NECDP), the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) and the Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) under the supervision of MINECOFIN.
It will focus mainly on two components of Food Security and Multi-Sectoral Coordination.
The programme is scheduled to run from 2019 to 2021.