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World Bank injects 60 mln USD to Rwanda

Xinhua, April 4, 2014 Adjust font size:

The World Bank has boosted Rwanda's road infrastructure and agricultural productivity with 60.9 million U.S. dollars (about Rwf 47 billion).

The funds will be channeled towards the construction of various feeder roads in the country that connect farmers to market centers.

The first 45 million dollars of the grant agreement was signed between the government of Rwanda and the World Bank representative on Thursday in the Capital of Kigali.

The funds are expected to support the upgrade of about 270 kilometers of feeder roads that connect to major market centers in Karongi, Rwamagana, Gisagara and Nyamasheke districts under the government's Feeder Roads Development Project (FRDP).

The second part of the credit agreement worth 15.9 million Dollars is additional financing for the government's program " Third Rural Sector Support Project (RSSP 3) which focuses on increasing and diversifying agricultural productivity.

Claver Gatete, Rwanda's minister of finance and economic planning told journalists after penning the agreement that Rwanda had repositioned itself to rapidly modernise agriculture for food security and wealth creation.

According to the ministry, the Feeder Roads Development Project (FRDP) is expected to directly benefit about 439,000 people in total in the four districts while the Third Rural Sector Support Project (RSSP 3) will benefit 101,500 rural residents by the year 2018.

"This support will enhance agricultural production and improve food security, through crop intensive farming programs while at the same time reducing post harvest losses that come about as a result of poor feeder roads," explained Gatete.

The minister also noted that jobs would be created for Rwandans who participate in the road construction processes.

"Boosting agricultural productivity and easing transport of farmers and their produce to market centers is the surest way of ensuring sustainable improvement of farmers' welfare," said Carolyn Turk, World Bank country manager for Rwanda.

She said they were focused at reducing poverty levels significantly and promoting resilience going forward in the rural livelihoods.

Tony Nsanganira, permanent secretary in the Rwanda's ministry of agriculture welcomed the new funding and it would quicken the government's objective of finishing the construction of at least 3, 000 kilometers of feeder roads over the next five years under the Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS 2).

The country's economy is set to grow at an average 11.5 percent during EDPRS 2 implementation and the country's GDP per capita is projected to increase from the current 644 dollars to 1,240 dollars by the year 2020.

According to the 2013 Global Hunger Index report, Rwanda was ranked among the top 10 countries that have had the most improved index in the past 23 years.

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