The World Bank’s Board of Directors approved $200 million in International Development Association (*IDA) financing to advance Rwanda’s 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 three 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 is the anchor of our support to the Government of Rwanda on human capital development, and it has already yielded robust results in the areas of health care, education, nutrition, and social protection,” said Rolande Pryce, World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda. “Collaborating with the government and working in step with other partners to bring about these reforms will lay a solid foundation for human capital, which remains a key driver of Rwanda’s socioeconomic transformation and will help ensure no one is left behind.”
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% in March 2020 to 46% 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% in 2020 to 62% in 2022. Health sector financing reforms have ensured that over 86% of the target population has been covered by community-based health insurance as of May 2022, up from 69% 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 well-being.
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% of these recipients are women. With reforms in education, the sector prepared itself for more resilient service delivery, and managed to return about 99% 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. “Going forward, Rwanda can also respond more flexibly to crises that affect poor and vulnerable households.”
The financing approved today is part of broader ongoing support by the World Bank for health, education, and social protection in Rwanda.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The World Bank Group.