Kigali May 16, 2019: The Government of Rwanda and the World Bank Group today signed a US$60 million financing agreement (approximately Frw 54 Billion) of which US$ 25 Million is a grant and US$ 35 Million is an IDA Credit which will be paid on 0.75% interest rate in 38 years including a grace period of 6 years to improve access to basic services and economic opportunities for refugees and host communities, and support environmental management, in the six districts in Rwanda that host refugee camps.
Hon. Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister of Finance and Economic Development and Hafez Ghanem; World Bank Vice President for Africa Region signed on behalf of their respective institutions
The project includes four components: (a) Access to Basic Services and Socio-economic Investments; (b) Economic Opportunity; (c) Environmental Management; and (d) Project Management/M&E. The investments will complement existing initiatives supported by humanitarian agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations and other development partners.
“Rwanda has been hosting refugees for over two decades. Earlier this year we concluded the Strategic Plan for Refugee Inclusion 2019-2024, which aims to ensure a better quality standard of living for refugees and their host communities. The Socio-economic inclusion of Refugees and Host Communities project highlights the government’s commitment to refugee inclusion,” said Minister Ndagijimana.
The project will benefit 136,000 refugees who live in camps in the six target districts and up to two million Rwandans. It will upgrade schools, health centers, roads, market facilities, water supply and sanitation facilities, primarily in the host communities around refugee camps, and fund job skills training and access to finance to support employment and livelihood for the refugees and host communities. It will also support enhanced environmental conditions by addressing the impact of refugee camps on their surroundings.
“This project will be a win-win for refugees and the Rwandan communities that generously host them. It will lighten the burden of hosting refugees on the government of Rwanda by fixing environmental degradation and easing the strain on basic services that can be caused by the presence of refugees,” “At the same time, the project will support skills training and access to finance to boost entrepreneurship and employment prospects for the project beneficiaries.” said World Bank Vice President Ghanem.
In 2016, the Government of Rwanda made four commitments to move towards greater fulfillment of rights, socio-economic opportunities and inclusion of refugees. These include
· Commitment to issue all refugees with identity cards with a view to further promote freedom of movement and access to employment opportunities.
· Commitment to promote the further inclusion of refugee children into the Rwandan education system.
· Commitment to enable urban refugees to access the national health insurance system.
· Commitment to support sustainable livelihoods for refugees in which they graduate from humanitarian assistance and into employment.
The Government adopted the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) that outlines a holistic approach which will bring development benefits for both host communities and refugees..