Rwanda + 1 more

UK aid to go directly to poorest

News and Press Release
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01 MARCH 2013

A £16 million package of development support to Rwanda will be channelled through aid agencies or directly to the poorest people, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced today. None of this funding will be released to Rwanda as general budget support - meaning that it won't go through the Rwandan government.

Following a breach of agreed development assistance partnership principles, the UK government decided in November 2012 not to release £21 million of general budget support to the government of Rwanda.

At the time, Secretary of State Justine Greening initiated work on how to protect the poorest people in Rwanda through re-programming funds that were to be no longer disbursed as general budget support.
The support announced today will include direct payments for half a million people living in extreme poverty in Rwanda and the provision of almost two million textbooks for primary and secondary school children. It will also support aid agencies working in refugee camps.

Justine Greening said: “The reprogrammed development assistance will be channelled through projects that directly reach and protect the poorest people in Rwanda. “In line with my earlier decision regarding the breach of the partnership principles, it is not appropriate to release any of these funds as general budget support.” This assistance will be channelled through independent aid agencies or directly to the intended beneficiaries.

The development projects will:

  • Provide cash grants or cash for work payments for 545,000 of the poorest people. The £9 million funding will be used to provide small regular payments directly to individuals to prevent them falling deeper into poverty.

  • Supply 1.8 million textbooks and supplementary readers to primary and secondary school pupils across Rwanda. The £4.4 million grant will be sent directly to the textbook suppliers.

  • Provide emergency relief for 20,000 refugees. Working through UNICEF and the UNHCR, the new £2 million programme will provide sleeping mats, blankets, kitchen sets, hygiene equipment, education equipment, tents, tarpaulin, water kits, pumps, therapeutic food and medicines at refugee camps in Rwanda over the next year.

  • Set up nine new UNICEF early child development centres. The £500,000 programme will help 1,000 of the most vulnerable children aged six or under access early childhood facilities, such as parenting skills, educational starter kits and health and nutrition awareness.

  • Set up VSO education support programmes in 270 schools across 18 districts. The three year programme will give teachers, school heads and pupils the advice they need to provide the best schooling possible.