KIGALI - Development partners yesterday hailed government
for maintaining a steady economic growth path and
announced a 21 percent increase in their support
to the country's budget in the 2010/11 fiscal year.
Speaking on behalf of seven development partners after
signing a $335.4 budget support package
for next fiscal year, Dr. Heike Henn, Head of
Development Cooperation at the Germany Embassy
said that the commitment made was a result
of positive development Rwanda had registered.
"The year 2009 has been a year of successful
collaboration between the Government of Rwanda
and the Budget Support Development Partners.
We comment the government for the progress
we have seen throughout the year," he said.
"We have seen Macro-economic stability despite
the difficult environment.
We are seeing good progress regarding
EDPRS implementation for example in
health and education," Henn said
at the ceremony held at MINICOFIN.
She noted that the estimated growth figures
of 2009 and a strong performance of
the agriculture sector "are encouraging"
especially when the world is
facing economic hardships.
Within the new pledged support, the World Bank
contributed $91m, European Commission $80.5m,
United Kingdom $63.1m, African Development Bank
$27.6m, Germany $15.2m, Netherlands $14.4m
and Belgium $4.3m.
Most of the funding will be front-loaded
in the first two quarters of the 2010/11 Financial Year.
Rwanda will also receive additional funding
of $39.3m through Joint Financing Mechanisms,
bringing the total amount to $335.4
from development partners.
The commitment received yesterday means
that the government can now fully programme
all budget support contributions into
the National budget in due time
for the next fiscal year.
The commitment comes five weeks after
conclusion of the Joint Budget Support Review
held in November where development partners
and the government made an overall assessment
in of implementation of EDPRS programs
during the 2009/10 Fiscal year.
The partners also announced their commitment
to fund the 2011/12 and 2012/13
fiscal year budget.
"Budget support directly translates into public spending
on priority areas for economic development
and poverty reduction.
It makes up a significant share of the overall budget
and without it, the implementation of
the EDPRS would be impossible," Henn said.
Finance Minister John Rwangombwa commended
development partners and pledged
to ensure aid effectiveness and accountability.
"Budget support is an aid modality based
on deep mutual trust and depends
on development partner's confidence
in the country's systems," the Minister said.
"By their presence and the pledges made today,
our budget support partners signal that
they believe in the government overall
development plan with the ultimate aim
of reducing and eventually
eradicating poverty," Rwangombwa said.
He noted that the 21 percent increase
in the commitment is a sign of confidence
from the development partners and
Rwandans-assuring the partners that 'every penny'
received goes towards improving
the lives of all Rwandans.