The World Bank on Thursday announced credit facility worth 95 million U.S. dollars towards Rwanda’s social protection initiatives.
Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Claver Gatete and the World Bank Country Manager Yasser El Gammal, signed the deal for the International Development Assistance (IDA) credit in Kigali.
The funding is meant to support the country’s social protection policy by strengthening the foundations of Rwanda’s social protection system.
It emphasizes second-generation reforms needed to boost efficiency, while keeping direct alignment with core national principles and goals.
Officials said the support will focus on strengthening tools to improve the management and service delivery of social protection programs, notably the social protection Management Information System (MIS) and the Ubudehe household registry classification system.
It is also expected to improve the harmonization and efficiency of the Vision Umurenge Program (VUP) which provides cash for work, income support and financial services to poor households.
The support, according to officials, will also harmonize social protection initiatives, notably income-generation programs and child-sensitive policies, with an eye toward longer-term graduation from poverty and social assistance.
Minister Gatete explained that the National Social Protection Strategy display evidence of the Government of Rwanda’s sustained prioritization of the social protection sector.
“This program will support Rwanda’s four main social protection programs, with the flagship Vision 2020 Umurenge Program (VUP) as the cornerstone,” he told journalists.
This program supports Rwanda in achieving its goal of establishing a well-structured social safety net with national coverage.
The reforms supported by the program will improve the efficiency, accountability and transparency of the system, and will expand coverage among poor and vulnerable populations.
In addition to VUP Umurenge, other social protection interventions under this program include direct support and nutrition support schemes, social care and support services and certain livelihood development services.
El Gammal commended the Rwandan government for its partnership and allowing the bank the opportunity to contribute to establishing a social protection system that tackles poverty, inequality and vulnerability and improves access to essential services.
World Bank has been supporting social protection in various forms, including financial support and technical assistance. In recent years, the bank has supported the sector through sector development policy operations.
Under the current International Development Assistance (IDA 17), this support takes the World Bank total financing 260 million U.S. dollars in three consecutive years since 2014.