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Nation gets US $75 million in new World Bank grants

The World Bank approved a US $55-million grant on Thursday to assist economic reform and improve social services in Rwanda as well as another grant of $20 million to support the government's urban management efforts.

"At project completion, Rwanda should see a marked increase in the number of children attending or completing primary school and see a significant drop in the number of under-five mortality and the spread of communicable diseases," the World Bank said in a statement on its US $55-million grant known as the 'Second Poverty Reduction Support Grant'.

Both that and the grant for urban infrastructure will be issued by the Bank's International Development Association.

The World Bank task team leader for the urban infrastructure project, Sylvie Debomy, said on Thursday: "The provision of adequate infrastructure and services to cities will enable them to strengthen urban-rural linkages and ensure that they play a more active role as market-cities for the surrounding rural areas."

Some of the money for the poverty reduction support will in part be used for education, health, energy sectors and water.

The poverty reduction support grant will help improve water management "through private operators, help the country to continue to improve donor coordination in the sector, and focus on the approval and implementation of a new water law".

This grant will also be used to help create a strong basis for private sector-led economic growth, driven by agricultural transformation, promotion of exports.

Currently Rwanda's main export is coffee.

The World Bank said the grant would assist the government in "creating a strong basis for private sector-led economic growth, driven by agricultural transformation, promotion of exports, and a deepening of reform in the financial sector".

"The government of Rwanda has made good progress in strengthening management of public finances," The World Bank said, adding that it would also be used to help strengthen governance and transparency through further improvements to the fiduciary framework.

"It will also help empower local communities," it said.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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