2 May 2014

Rwanda: World Bank Approves U.S.$8 Million Credit Support for Ex-Combatants

The World Bank has approved a $8.97million (Approximately Rwf5billion) additional financing credit for the Second Emergency Demobilization and Reintegration Project (SEDRP).

The credit builds on the achievements of the original International Development Association (IDA) grant of $8 million which was approved in August 2009.

The approval was made on Wednesday April 30 by the World Bank's Board of Executive Directors.

According to a statement issued by the World Bank, the new financing will support the original project's overall objective to assist the Government of Rwanda's to demobilize members of Armed Groups of Rwandan origin and the Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF).

The support will help in providing socioeconomic reintegration support to such members following demobilization, with a particular focus on female, child, and disabled ex-combatants.

Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country representative in the country said that the additional credit support is in line with Rwanda's tremendous efforts in reintegrating ex-combatants.

"Through the original project, the Rwanda Government has efficiently provided a powerful incentive for Rwandan combatants fighting in eastern DRC to lay down arms and reintegrate peacefully in their communities in Rwanda. Additional funds will continue to support efforts toward regional peace stabilization."

The additional financing credit will provide the same benefits as the original project, with three additions; social orientation for dependents of ex-combatants, mental health screening, counseling, treatment, or referral for adult and children ex-combatants and support to disabled ex-combatants through Integrated Rehabilitation and Production Workshops.

The World Bank's Task Team Leader for the SEDRP, Natacha Lemasle added that: "The provision of strengthened mental health support and additional support to vulnerable groups will facilitate the inclusion of ex-combatants into the workforce at the community level and contribute to increased social cohesion."

With the new activities supported by the additional credit, the number of beneficiaries settled in their chosen communities will increase as well as their capacity to advance their own social and economic reintegration.

Access to services by ex-combatants through central and local government service provision mechanisms will also increase. The original project also included a US$2 million government counterpart contribution and two Multi-Donor Trust Fund Grants for US$4.6 million and US$4.5 million.

A first additional financing for US$2.3 million also from the Multi-Donor Trust Fund was signed in December 2013.

The World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world's poorest countries by providing zero-interest loans and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people's lives.

IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world's 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries.

Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $16 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.

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