Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

2 October 2012

Rwanda: EU, Impressed By Rwanda Progress, Disburses ?47 Million in Aid

The European Union has disbursed about €47 million in aid to Rwanda.

The announcement was made yesterday by Francesco Mosca, the director for Sub-Saharan Africa at the Directorate General for Development and Cooperation together with Finance Minister John Rwangombwa in Kigali.

According to Mosca, the money was disbursed after Rwanda achieved all the indicators and will be used in improving roads infrastructure and food security.

"We have a contract with Rwanda and when the contract has been fulfilled, we cannot see why we should retain the funds. Therefore we have disbursed the €47 million," she told The Rwanda Focus after a closed-door meeting with Minister Rwangombwa.

Mosca also said the EU is impressed with Rwanda's achievements in development and security.

"The money we are injecting in this country is well managed and has an impact on poverty alleviation and this is quite important."

Minister Rwangombwa expressed his gratitude to the European Union. "We appreciate the fact that they honored their contract," he remarked.

The remarks follow an announcement on the Minecofin twitter account earlier yesterday announcing that the UK and EC had disbursed over $100 million in budget support to Rwanda since July 2012.

"All aid is due December 2012. Other stories are media lies," the statement read.

This comes as a relief after international media made allegations that more aid to Rwanda had been frozen.

Last week, Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo dismissed a story by AFP that claimed the European Union had suspended aid to Rwanda following allegations that Kigali is backing rebels in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

She said the story had been designed to mislead.

Yesterday, the UK's Independent said, Andrew Mitchell, the former International Development Secretary, was under pressure over his decision to reinstate Britain's suspended aid program to Rwanda.

Mitchell announced the unfreezing of about £16m of frozen aid to Rwanda before he was transferred to the Whip's Office in reshuffle.

But Rwangombwa yesterday said whatever Mitchell did, he did in principle and the other reasons being advanced are flimsy. "He showed why the aid should be disbursed," the Minister explained.

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