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Rwanda receives $70 million boost from World Bank in fight against poverty

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Rwanda’s efforts to end extreme poverty were boosted after the World Bank approved US$ 70 million (approximately 47.2 billion Rwf) support yesterday to expand and strengthen the country’s social protection system, which protects the most vulnerable people against effects of extreme poverty.

The deal, which will include a $46 million loan and a grant of $24 million, is the last tranche of a three-year aid program.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Claver Gatete said the money will be channeled through sector budget support to expand and strengthen the country’s social protection system. He says the new grant will help to strengthen management capacity and monitoring systems, make social protection more responsive to natural disasters.

“Poverty reduction and inclusive growth has been one of government’s core strategies. Supporting vulnerable persons and families to escape extreme poverty ensures everyone benefits from Rwanda’s economic progress,” Minister Gatete said.

Rwanda has reduced extreme poverty dramatically in recent years, from 40 percent in 2001 to 24 percent in 2011. The remarkable success has been achieved through effective use of social protection programs such as Vision 2020 Umurenge Program (VUP). VUP consists primarily of cash transfers and public works employment and covers over one million people.

Rwanda has already undertaken a number of strong policy actions that have established it as a leader among low-income countries seeking to build a strong base for existing social protection systems.

“The government has used social protection programs very effectively over the past decade and now looks to reduce extreme poverty to 9 percent by 2018.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,” Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda said.

Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Manager, said that 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.

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