Rwanda, World Bank ink Rwf67bn social protection funding deal

The Government and the World Bank today signed $80 million (about Rwf67 billion) funding agreement to support effectiveness in Rwanda’s Social Protection System.

The Government and the World Bank today signed $80 million (about Rwf67 billion) funding agreement to support effectiveness in Rwanda’s Social Protection System.

The financing deal was signed in Kigali by Claver Gatete, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning and Yasser El-Gammal, World Bank Country Manager.

The funding is meant to support the effectiveness of Rwanda’s social protection system, notably the flagship Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP), for targeted vulnerable groups.

It is expected that the Strengthening Social Protection Project (SSPP) will help expand coverage and improve the effectiveness of the VUP thus increasing the number of households receiving income support.

It will also expand the number of working days for public works, which will effectively increase the size of transfers households receive, according to the ministry.

Officials said the project will extend eligibility criteria for Direct Support to more labor-constrained households, including vulnerable households with people caring for disabled members.

The project will also introduce a gender and child sensitive expanded public works model to provide more accessible jobs to those ineligible for Direct Support but still with labor constraints, including caring for young children.

This project, according to a statement from the ministry, will benefit vulnerable households primarily in Ubudehe [social stratification] Category 1 living in the 416 VUP direct support targeted geographical sectors, the 300 geographical sectors targeted for expanded public works as well as 270 geographical sectors targeted for classic public works.

“Social protection remains one of the main priorities of the Government of Rwanda for meeting its ambitious poverty reduction and human capital development goals,” said minister Gatete.

He explained that to further this agenda, Rwanda has started building an integrated social protection system to ensure a minimum standard of living and access to core public services, boost resilience to shocks, promote equitable growth, and strengthen opportunity through increased human capital development.

“SSPP is part of the wider Government of Rwanda and World Bank programme to combat chronic malnutrition and invest in the early years, along with other World Bank supported projects namely the Stunting Prevention and Reduction and Agriculture Projects,” said El-Gammal.

At the conclusion of the project at end of 2018, it is expected that direct support to approximately 95,846 Ubudehe 1 households will continue and expand to about 11,000 Ubudehe 1 single-worker households caring for a person with a disability.

The project started in 2014. It is also expected that classic public works support will continue to increase from the current 128,000 households (in 240 sectors) to approximately 141,361 (in 270 sectors). Major extension of gender and child-sensitive model is expected to reach 75,000 households (in 300 sectors) by the end of the operation up from 2,757 households in 30 sectors in fiscal year 2016/17.