World Bank provides US$200 million to support accelerated human capital development in Rwanda

On 23 December 2022 at 12:05

The World Bank’s Board of Directors has approved US$200 million in the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) financing to support Rwanda in advancing its policy and institutional reform program for human capital development and inclusive economic growth. This is the final credit in a series of three World Bank development policy financing operations totaling $525 million over 3 years.

Among other reforms, this financing will support the roll out of a new dynamic social registry which will ensure that critical social sector programs are targeted to those most in need and can be responsive to losses of livelihood or income when households face a range of crises. This foundational reform is also expected to improve efficiency in the spending of public resources and contribute to poverty reduction.

“This policy and institutional reform program has been the anchor of our support to the Government of Rwanda on human capital development, which has already yielded robust results on a large scale in health care, education, nutrition, and social protection,” said Rolande Pryce, World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda.

“Collaborating with the Government of Rwanda and working in step with other partners to bring about these reforms will lay a solid foundation for human capital being a key driver of Rwanda’s socioeconomic transformation and will help ensure no one is left behind,” she added.

The series has registered strong results despite the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, coverage of critical gender, child, and nutrition sensitive safety net schemes benefiting poor and vulnerable households under the Vision 2020 Umurenge Program has increased from 19 percent in March 2020 to 46 percent in September 2022. The proportion of young children now receiving a minimum package of integrated early childhood development services in accordance with national standards has expanded from 17 percent in 2020 to 62 percent in 2022.

Health sector financing reforms have ensured that over 86 percent of the target population has been covered by community-based health insurance as of May 2022, up from 69 percent in 2020. Teachers are being recruited more efficiently because of an increase in transparency of teacher management and recruitment policies, leading to better quality of teaching and teacher wellbeing.

The series has also been responsive to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of September 2022, 135,081 households, largely reliant on informal work, received emergency cash support to help tide over losses of income during the pandemic. About 59 percent of these recipients are women. With reforms in education, the sector prepared itself for more resilient service delivery, and managed to return about 99 percent of students to school after prolonged COVID-19-related closure.

“We expect that this series of development policy operations will have lasting benefits in Rwanda, including through the new social registry, a financially sustainable community-based health insurance scheme, and strengthened workforce management in both health facilities and schools,” said Kavita Watsa, World Bank Senior Human Development Operations Officer and Task Team Leader for this operation. “Going forward, Rwanda can also respond more flexibly to crises that affect poor and vulnerable households.”

The financing approved on 22nd December 2022, is part of broader ongoing support by the World Bank for health, education, and social protection in Rwanda.

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

IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61 percent going to Africa.