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PRESS RELEASE December 18, 2017

World Bank to Support Improvement of Effectiveness in Rwanda’s Social Protection System

WASHINGTON, December 18, 2017-- The World Bank approved today a $80 million International Development Association (IDA)* credit to help the Government of Rwanda improve the effectiveness of its social protection system, notably the flagship Vision 2020 Umurenge Program (VUP), for targeted vulnerable groups.

The Strengthening Social Protection Project (SSPP) will help expand the coverage and improve the effectiveness of the VUP thus increasing the number of households receiving income support. It will also expand the number of working days for public works, which will effectively increase the size of transfers households receive.

The project will extend eligibility criteria for Direct Support (DS) to more labor-constrained households, including vulnerable households with people caring for disabled members. SSPP will also introduce a gender and child sensitive expanded public works (ePW) model to provide more accessible jobs to those ineligible for DS but still with labor constraints, including caring for young children.

This project is part of a larger World Bank effort to support the Government of Rwanda in its commitment to address chronic malnutrition and invest in the early years of children’s life.  “Child-sensitive social protection has an important role to play in supporting vulnerable families to make appropriate investments in children’s development. In the 21st century, human capacity is even more critical than before in determining countries’ future productivity and economic growth,” said Laura Rawlings, World Bank team leader for the project.   

This project will benefit vulnerable households primarily in Ubudehe Category 1 living in the 416 VUP direct support targeted geographical sectors, the 300 geographical sectors targeted for expanded public works (ePW), as well as 270 geographical sectors targeted for classic public works (cPW).

At the conclusion of this project, it is expected that direct support to approximately 95,846 Ubudehe 1 households will continue and expand to about 11,000 Ubudehe 1 single-worker households caring for a person with a disability. It is also expected that classic Public Works support will continue to increase from the current 128,000 households (in 240 sectors) to approximately 141,361 (in 270 sectors). Major extension of gender and child-sensitive ePW model is expected to reach 75,000 households (in 300 sectors) by the end of the operation up from 2,757 households in 30 sectors in FY2016/17.


* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans 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 75 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.5 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 54 percent going to Africa.



Kayihura Rogers
(250) 591-303
Ekaterina Svirina
(202) 458-1042