Efforts to combat climate change while emphasising rural development in Rwanda could be scaled up, thanks to a Euro13.7 million (Rwf12.5 billion) grant signed between the government and the Federal Republic of Germany yesterday.
According to the financing agreement, the funds will be channeled toward supporting decentralisation, good governance and climate resilience.
Decentralisation and good governance will be allocated Euro7 million (about Rwf6.4 billion) under the Rwanda Local Development Support Fund (RLDSF) to finance income generating activities and economic infrastructure such as schools, feeder roads and markets.
Projects to be undertaken will be based on priorities stipulated in district development plans.
Under this strategy, all districts will be allowed to implement local priorities, thus making them more responsive to specific local needs, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete, said.
“This grant will not only support rural development and create employment opportunities but will also help tackle effects of climate change. It is in line with rural development priorities as stipulated in the second Economic Development and Poverty Eradication Strategy (EDPRS2),” Gatete said at the signing ceremony in Kigali yesterday.
The funds will also finance institutional support at the level of the Rwanda Local Development Support Funds (RLDSF) mainly in the areas of project preparation and planning, monitoring and evaluation and development of a citizen feedback mechanism, Gatete added.
The same agreement also allocates Euro6.7million (about Rwf6 billion) to climate change adaptation which will be channeled through the National Climate and Environment Fund (Fonerwa).
The idea is to increase climate resilience in all the 30 districts of Rwanda and reduce vulnerability to extreme climate events.
It will also facilitate awareness campaigns on climate change and mainstreaming of climate change into the district development plans, according to officials at Fonerwa.
Alex Mulisa, the Rwanda National Climate and Environment Fund chief, said the grant is a big boost towards tackling soil erosion, floods, afforestation and rural infrastructure development among others.
Peter Fahrenholtz, the German ambassador to Rwanda, said the agreement underlines the long-standing and proven cooperation between the two countries based on friendship and mutual trust.
Fight against climate change
“Our commitment towards supporting efforts geared to address climate change challenges remains a priority, we call upon all stakeholders to emphasise accountability and ensure that development in Rwanda is all inclusive,” Fahrenholtz said.
The Federal Republic of Germany has been supporting decentralisation through local infrastructure investments since 2006 and has financed individual projects such as schools, health centres, electrification, roads and bridges, modern markets and terracing, among others, worth Euro27 million to date.