Electronic payments in Rwanda increased by 400%

The World Bank Board of Directors approved US $ 175 million in funding from the International Development Association (IDA) * to help advance Rwanda’s political and institutional reform agenda for human capital development and inclusive economic growth.

This financial package consists of an IDA grant of US $ 87.5 million and an IDA credit of US $ 87.5 million; and is the second in a series of three development policy finance operations, with an initial amount of $ 150 million approved in December 2020.

One of the main features of this program is a strong multisectoral collaboration between several government ministries and institutions to collectively produce key results at different stages of the human life cycle.

The program addresses barriers to human capital development by improving financing and improving families’ access to health, nutrition, education and social protection services.

It aims to provide poor and vulnerable households with equitable opportunities to invest in their human capital, to empower women and to develop strong governance and accountability mechanisms at decentralized levels.

The reform program is yielding impressive results. For example, the proportion of regular beneficiary households of the Vision 2020 Umurenge program enrolled in human capital-focused social safety net interventions increased from 19% in March 2020 to 41.5% in September 2021.

The proportion of young children now receiving a minimum package of integrated early childhood development services in line with national standards increased from 17% in 2020 to 42% in November 2021.

Health sector financing reforms have ensured that more than 85% of the target population is covered by community health insurance, up from 69% in 2020.

These efforts have been essential in ensuring that people have access to financially sustainable health insurance schemes in Rwanda.

The program also remains responsive to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In October 2021, 111,265 households, largely dependent on informal work, received emergency cash assistance to help overcome income losses during the pandemic, already exceeding the target of 100,000 households.

About 58 percent of these beneficiaries were women. Education sector reforms related to strengthening teaching and learning at preschool, primary and secondary levels have been affected by school closures linked to the pandemic, but thanks to cautious measures taken by the government , these reforms should accelerate in 2022.

“Human capital development is central to Rwanda’s resilient recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and forms the basis of Rwanda’s longer-term development agenda. This comprehensive, multi-sector, multi-year program focuses on accelerating more and better investments in people to achieve key results at different stages of the human lifecycle, ”said Rolande Pryce, World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda.

“Our collaboration with the government and other development partners to strengthen Rwanda’s human capital aims to ensure that all citizens benefit and productively contribute to sustainable economic growth in the country.

It is important to note that the program facilitates, among other things, the continuous strengthening of the social protection system of Rwanda to effectively reach the families who need it most, the deepening of the decentralization reforms of Rwanda to allow a better delivery of citizen services by local government, and better tax transparency and debt management.

“The Rwandan government’s commitment to human capital development is manifested in strong leadership, good design and effective implementation of a multisectoral reform program, which has started to yield impressive results,” said Iftikhar Malik, Senior Human Development Specialist at the World Bank and Project Manager. Team leader for this operation.

“Through a combination of people-centered policies, institutional reforms and our sector project and our consultative support in partnership with ministries and institutions, we can anticipate inclusive growth and more prosperous prospects for Rwandan citizens in coming years “.

Rwanda is one of the first to adopt the Human Capital Project of the World Bank, a global network of 82 countries of all income levels that focuses on more and better investments in people for greater equity and a growth.

The performance and results achieved through this series of programs should also contribute to overall learning in this important thematic area.

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and loans at low-to-zero interest rates for projects and programs that stimulate economic growth, reduce poverty and improve the lives of the poor.

IDA is one of the most important sources of assistance for the 74 poorest countries in the world, including 39 in Africa. IDA resources are bringing positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries.

Since 1960, IDA has provided $ 458 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have averaged around US $ 29 billion over the past three years (FY19-FY21), of which around 70 percent goes to Africa.

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