WASHINGTON, May 1 2020 – The World Bank today approved a $100 million International Development Association (IDA)* supplemental financing for the Third Rwanda Energy Sector Development Policy Operation (DPO). The first operation was approved by the World Bank’s Board on August 29, 2019.
The supplemental financing which comes in the form of budget support, will enable the Government of Rwanda to prepare a timely fiscal response to the economic shock from the COVID-19 pandemic, set up platforms for policy development and coordination of prevention and preparedness, and safeguard the reform agenda supported by the budget support series.
The Third Rwanda Energy Development Policy Operation is the last in a $375 million programmatic series, the first of which was approved in December 2017. The series support Rwanda’s energy sector objectives under the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) – including universal access to electricity by 2024 while balancing the trade-offs with fiscal and financial sustainability.
"The policy program supported by the DPO series remains on track, but the widespread social and economic impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic puts the operations' results at risk,” says Joern Huenteler Task-Team Leader of the operation. “This financing will support the government’s crisis response and make sure that progress towards universal access to electricity is not reversed.”
By the end of the operations, it is expected that Rwanda will have electrified over 61 percent of its households, narrowed the gap in electricity access between female- and male-headed households, and be on track to achieve the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) objective of universal access to electricity by 2024. It is also expected that Rwanda will have modernized the operations of the Rwanda Energy Group and the Government’s planning and decision-making processes, and that fiscal transfers to the sector be contained at no more than 1.5 percent of GDP throughout the NST1 period.
“The COVID-19 global pandemic runs the risk of reversing some of Rwanda’s hard won socio-economic and health achievements,” says Yasser El Gammal, World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda. “I am confident that with the high-level leadership, the resilience of the Rwandans, swift action taken by the government, and support from the World Bank and other development partners, Rwanda can bend the curve on this pandemic and get back on track.”
* 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 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61 percent going to Africa.