The government and the World Bank have signed an $80 million financing agreement to support Rwanda’s social protection system, notably the Vision 2020 Umurenge Program (VUP).
The Strengthening Social Protection Project (SSPP) will help expand the coverage and improve the effectiveness of 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.
The project will extend eligibility for direct support to more households, including vulnerable ones with people caring for disabled people. SSPP will also introduce a gender- and child-sensitive expanded public works model to provide more jobs.
This project will benefit vulnerable households primarily in Ubudehe Category 1 living in the 416 VUP sectors that receive direct support, the 300 sectors where expanded public works take place as well as 270 sectors which have classic public works.
“Social protection remains one of the main priorities of the government for meeting its ambitious poverty reduction and human capital development goals,” said ,” Claver Gatete, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning. “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.”
Yasser El-Gammal, the World Bank’s country manager , noted SSPP is part of the wider program by the government and the World Bank to combat chronic malnutrition and invest in the early years, along with other World Bank supported projects such as the stunting prevention and reduction and agriculture projects.
The project will provide direct support to approximately 95,846 Ubudehe 1 households, and expand support to 11,000 Ubudehe single-worker households caring for a person with a disability. 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).
A 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 FY2016/17.