The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) yesterday signed an agreement with the UN in Rwanda committing US$ 730, 000 (Approx. Frw 500m) to UN activities for the benefit of the Rwandan population.
The deal was signed at the UN country offices in Kigali between the SIDA country representative Richard Bomboma and UN Resident Coordinator Aurélien Agbénonci on behalf of the two institutions.
Most of the UN programmes in Rwanda focus on six key thematic areas of Governance, HIV, Health, Nutrition and Population, Education, Environment and Sustainable Growth and Social Protection.
Speaking after the signing Bomboma said: “We believe that the Delivering as One UN reform will lead to a more efficient and cost-effective UN to speed up work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to improve the lives of all Rwandans.”
The One UN Programme consists of all UN development Activities for the period 2008 to 2012 in Rwanda and has been fully aligned with Rwanda’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).
Rwanda is among the eight countries selected by the UN for the pilot phase of having all UN agencies pool resources in one basket for all development activities in the country.
“We’re particularly pleased with the strengthened mainstreaming of Human Rights and Gender issues in UN activities as a result of the reform and we’re looking forward to a fruitful cooperation in these areas,” said the SIDA country chief.
Sweden is one of Rwanda’s main development partners, providing only last year US$22m through direct budget support.
In a statement issued by the One UN Programme in Rwanda the Agbénonci said that the idea of the UN reform is to deliver better for the poorest citizens of Rwanda.
“I highly commend the commitment that Sweden is showing to this process today. This is a joint initiative and its success depends on support from all UN member states,”said Agbénonci.
He also added that Sweden is an important partner not only as a financial contributor but also as a partner in policy and strategic dialogues which he said are key areas.
The One Fund of UN is part of the One Budgetary Framework supporting the One Programme. All contributions to the One Fund will be used to cover funding gaps of the One Programme.
The press statement from UN says that that the UN recognises the importance of the Swedish support as the success of Delivering as One UN reform depends on the commitment of all stakeholders at country level.
“The Swedish contribution will cover parts of the funding gap for the One UN Programme in Rwanda covering all UN activities for 2009,” reads the statement.
Available information indicates that the total amount of the resources needed to implement the One Programme for 2009 amounts to US$ 20m (Approx. Frw 1.2bn)