Rwanda’s poverty levels could reduce further thanks to a new cash agreement signed between government and the World Bank.
The deal, worth $70 million (about Rwf47 billion), was signed yesterday, as part of the International Development Assistance (IDA) that will be used to support government’s social protection programmes.
The funding, which is the last in a series of three Development Policy Operations (DPOs) is part loan ($ 46 million) and part grant ($24 million), according to the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete.
Gatete said the money will be channelled through sector budget support to expand and strengthen the country’s social protection system, which protects the most vulnerable people against poverty.
“The funds will support government’s efforts to strengthen management capacity and monitoring systems, make social protection more responsive to natural disasters, and expand coverage to poor regions and people. Poverty reduction and inclusive growth has been one of the government’s core strategies. Supporting vulnerable persons and families to escape extreme poverty ensures that everyone benefits from Rwanda’s economic progress,” the minister said.
Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country manager, said supporting social protection initiatives, especially in energy, agriculture, urban and rural settlement, technical and vocational skills, public financial management, gender and demobilisation and reintegration will drive home the country’s economic agenda as highlighted in the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2).
“We are proud to be associated with the success being made so far and will continue to partner with the government in supporting strategies aimed at reducing poverty levels,” he said.
The government is targeting to reduce poverty levels to below 30 per cent by 2018.
World Bank’s total budget spending will, in June, this year reach $650 million, according to the country manager.