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World Bank approves $20m to support refugees programmes in Rwanda

The World Bank has approved an additional International Development Association grant of US $20 million for the Socio-Economic Inclusion of…

The World Bank has approved an additional International Development Association grant of US $20 million for the Socio-Economic Inclusion of Refugees and Host Communities in Rwanda Project,an official statement issued by the global financial institution said Monday.This takes the total value of the project to US$80 million.

Since its inception in 2019, the project, also known in local Kinyarwanda language as “Jya Mbere” (move forward) is providing over 450,000 Rwandans and refugees with better access to basic services such as health, education and clean water.

According to the statement, it also supports job creation through economic infrastructure such as roads and markets, technical and vocational training and funding for local businesses in the six districts that host refugees in Rwanda – Kirehe, Gatsibo, Gicumbi, Karongi, Nyamagabe and Gisagara.

Commenting on the move, Matthew Stephens, World Bank Senior Social Development Specialist, and the project task team leader explained that Rwandans and refugees alike have been heavily affected by COVID-19.

“Jya Mbere” project will help them recover from the immediate impacts of the pandemic while building longer-term capacity in the health and education systems.

The additional US$20 million grant responds directly to the impacts of COVID-19. This will include upgrading to improve patient care at the district hospitals in Kirehe and Gatsibo, plus construction and improvements to health centers, schools and water systems in the project districts. 

The additional grant will also provide access to finance and training for businesses run by refugees and host community members in urban areas, including Huye District, the City of Kigali and Bugesera.

“By including refugees and the communities that host them in these efforts, Rwanda is further solidifying its well-earned reputation as a welcoming host to refugees,” said Rolande Pryce, World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda.

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