The World Bank has signed Rwanda a $23 million loan as funds meant to help reduce the stunting rates among children under age 5 in 13 of Rwanda’s highest-stunting districts.
This is a second slot following another one that was signed in March.
Through the Nutrition Sensitive Direct Support (NSDS), this additional financing for the Rwanda Strengthening Social Protection Project will provide direct cash transfers to vulnerable families.
The funds will incentivize the use of health and nutrition services, strengthen their knowledge on better parenting and childcare, and support Rwanda’s Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in the development of a clear road map for effective implementation.
“Given its long-term negative effects on human capital development and poverty eradication, stunting is high on the government of Rwanda’s political and development agenda. We are very grateful to all of you who are contributing to this effort,” said Uzziel Ndagijimana, Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development.
Rwanda, in partnership with the World Bank, The Power of Nutrition, and the Global Financing Facility (GFF), has developed an integrated program to combat chronic malnutrition, with a focus on high-stunting districts, vulnerable populations, and the critical 1,000 days beyond which stunting becomes largely irreversible.
“I would like to congratulate the Government of Rwanda for its commitment to accelerating the fight against chronic malnutrition. The World Bank Group will continue to work with Rwanda to scale up the program nationally and bend the curve on stunting across the continent. We must act with a sense of urgency because our children’s future is at stake,” said Makhtar Diop, the World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region.
The Power of Nutrition is investing $35 million into the overall program, of which $15 million is part of the additional financing signed today (and $20 million was allocated for the health/nutrition project approved in December 2017), while the GFF is contributing a total of $18 million to the overall program, with $10 million for the health project and $8 million for this social protection project.
“The Power of Nutrition is delighted to partner with the Government of Rwanda through the World Bank, to address stunting and build human capital in Rwanda. We look forward to seeing Rwanda grow and contribute to the growth of the nation,” Martin Short, the CEO of The Power of Nutrition.
“The Government of Rwanda has shown great leadership in this bold effort to address chronic stunting,” said Mariam Claeson, Director of the GFF. “The GFF is proud to co-finance Rwanda’s priorities and support multi-sectoral interventions to address stunting with a clear focus on results.”
The Strengthening Social Protection Project was approved in December 2017 to help the government of Rwanda to improve the effectiveness of Rwanda’s social protection system, notably the flagship Vision 2020 Umurenge Program (VUP), for targeted vulnerable groups.