Rwanda and France have signed a credit facility agreement and a grant, to the tune of €45.8 million (approximately 45.8 billion) aimed at supporting the Government’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic as well as providing support to the country’s Vocational Training system.
The €40 million Credit facility agreement (about Frw 42 billion) will support Government’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan, and Social Protection Response and Recovery Plan to COVID-19.
“The financing agreement will help Rwanda to meet the urgent funding needs of the national response plan with flexibility in the allocation of the resources to the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic in the health and social sectors. I appreciate the current momentum in bilateral relations, and reiterate the readiness and willingness of the Government of Rwanda to further strengthen bilateral cooperation and to explore other areas of support in the context of COVID-19 response and beyond,” says Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.
On his side, Rémy Rioux, AFD Chief Executive Officer said “As part of the unprecedented global solidarity drive to address the COVID-19 health crisis in Africa, AFD is fully committed to a targeted response to the health challenges posed by this pandemic.”
He further said that given the emergency situation, the Agency is mobilizing all its teams and resources to provide fair, rapid and appropriate responses to the needs expressed by France’s partners, with the priority objective of strengthening health systems and supporting the actors engaged in this fight that concerns everyone.
“One year to the day after my first visit to Rwanda in June 2019, I am happy to see the progress made in reviving AFD’s activity with the Rwandan authorities. Our first commitments in sovereign financing take shape with the signing of these two conventions. They are part of a revival dynamic of our partnership, at the service of the Rwandan population and in particular their youth.”Rioux said.
According to the finance ministry, on the Heath side, the contribution will support priority measures to prevent the transmission of the epidemic, increase diagnostic capacities, prevent and control infections in health and improve the treatment of patients affected by COVID-19.
On the Social Protection side, the support will help Rwanda to mitigate the social effects of COVID-19 on the most affected households by providing cash transfer, cash for works and nutrition support and protecting access to education and health for the most vulnerable.
For example. 150.000 vulnerable households will benefit from direct support (cash transfer), 190.000 from cash for works and 75.000 households with pregnant women or children under 2 years old will access the nutrition program.
Nutrition and financial support programs will be also extended to more than 212.000 households from the informal sector directly impacted by the lockdown measures over the last two months. These objectives are in line with the long-term social protection strategy of the Country.
The signing was witnessed by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Dr. Uzziel NDAGIJIMANA, CEO of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Mr. Rémy RIOUX, and, Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of France to Rwanda H.E. Mr Jérémie BLIN.