Rwanda on Tuesday signed a loan agreement with France through its development bank, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), committing two financing agreements worth €49.5 million to support government efforts to mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak.The first loan agreement consists of a €40 million concessional budget loan which will support the country’s strategy to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus as well as the economic recovery plan while the second loan amounting € 5.8 million will add to the country’s effort to develop its vocational training system in order to drive youth employment through Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centers (IPRCs).
The agreements were signed by Uzziel Ndagijimana, Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and economic planning and Jeremie Blin, Chargé d’affaires of France to Rwanda in Kigali.
According to the agreement, the biggest share will go into prevention measures against COVID-19, upgrading diagnostic capacities and treatment of patients such as setting up more treatment referral
On the social protection side, Blin said that the facility will reach more than 620,000 Rwandans who are most affected. Some of the activities include handing out cash or providing work to vulnerable
households, extending access to nutrition programs to pregnant women, and providing health insurance for more than 1.9 million people.
The projects “are part of a revival dynamic for our two countries partnership”, said Rioux, AFD CEO.
The loan will be paid in a period of 26 years, on an interest rate below 0 percent, said the Minister.
AFD said its support will provide flexibility to allow the government of Rwanda to adapt allocation of resources as the disease evolves.