The United States will this year facilitate Rwanda’s development agenda with Rwf125b ($180m) direct support, new US ambassador to the country, Barks-Ruggles, told KTPress.
Amb. Ruggles was on Monday speaking to KTPress, briefly after she, along with other three ambassadors, presented credentials to President Paul Kagame at his office in Rwanda’s capital Kigali.
“United States is Rwanda’s largest bilateral assistance partner,” she said.
“This year, we will contribute approximately $180million in assistance to support initiatives to improve health, advance economic growth and expand education.”
Part of the funds will also assist in strengthening Rwanda’s democratic institutions and promote good governance, the new envoy said.
Rwanda has seen a revamp of economic growth of 8% for the past decade.
US says it will continue to support Rwanda’s journey to economic transformation.
For Amb. Ruggles, “I told President Kagame and Foreign Minister that I am eager to travel widely throughout Rwanda and to hear from Rwandans how best we can work together on the tough challenges of our day.”
US provides 65% of Rwanda’s budget for improving nutrition, maternal and child health and prevention of HIV/Aids and Malaria.
“We have heard noticeable successes including quadrupling the number of children sleeping under Malaria preventing bed-nets and seriously reducing transmission of HIV from mothers to new born babies.”
Other noticeable US-Rwanda development projects include US President’s Emergency Plan For HIV/Aids commonly known as PEPFAR.
Between 2009 and 2011, Rwanda received over $300m to support prevention and treatment of Malaria and HIV.
Amb. Ruggles highlighted other bilateral development areas to tackle, including climate change, regional security, among others.
US backs other countries’ efforts to tackle climate change. Rwanda has initiated home-grown initiate to deal with climate change challenges.
Speaking last Friday, January 23, during this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, President Kagame said, “Many developing countries are leapfrogging with new technologies to combat climate change.
Rwanda has initiatives, such as reducing deforestation by providing cooking stoves and involving women and young people in climate change and sustainable development.
Example, “You have to begin at home in terms of land management and use of resources,” he said.
Meanwhile, other ambassadors presented letters of credence to President Kagame including; Zakaria Ansha of Indonesia, Mehmet Raif Karaca of Turkey and Alex Ntukamazina, representing Burundi.
All diplomats expressed their countries’ commitments to working with Rwanda in different areas of development.