World Bank gives Rwanda $70 mln to help fight poverty

by Reuters 0

This will be done by improving the African state’s social protection benefits meant for the poorest households.

Rwanda, one of sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest growing economies over the past decade, has put poverty alleviation at the heart of its policy since the end of a genocide that killed 800,000 people in mid-1990s.

The number of Rwandans living in extreme poverty fell to 24 per cent in 2011 from 40 per cent a decade earlier, government data showed.

However, many Rwandans remain mired in poverty despite strong economic growth expected to hit 6.5 per cent in 2015 compared with about six per cent last year.

(READ MORE: Rwanda keen to become regional economic powerhouse)

Rwanda’s Finance Minister Claver Gatete said on Monday a portion of the aid from the World Bank will provide monthly allowances to some of the poorest families in Rwanda, women, genocide survivors, as well as fund new businesses.

“Our target is to make sure that by 2017 the poverty level is below 20 per cent and below 10 per cent in 2020,” Gatete said at a ceremony to sign the agreement in the capital, Kigali.