Belgium and the government of Rwanda signed an agreement of £18 million to finance public health in Rwanda.
The agreement was signed between Belgium’s ambassador to Rwanda March Pecsteen and Rwanda’s Finance Minister, Claver Gatete in Kigali on April 24, 2014.
Speaking after the signing ceremony the officials said the grant will be used to boost the government’s objectives of third health sector strategic plan developed for 2012-2018.
In its development aid, Belgium has been supporting Rwanda in the area of health through sector budget support for over five years
Through the Indicative Cooperation Programme (ICP) of 2011 to 2014 worth Euro 160 million, the Belgian government had committed Euro 55 million to support health services in the country.
March Pecsteen, Belgium’s ambassador to Rwanda, said increasing life expectancy of Rwandans while reducing maternal and child mortality is a key for Rwanda’s economic success.
“Spectacular increase in life expectancy and substantial reduction of maternal and child mortality have become flagship successes of the Rwandan health sector,” Pecsteen said.
He stated that Rwanda is one of few countries in the world that is achieving key indicators of the Millennium Development Goals in the health sector.
“This is the result of sound policies and concrete actions to achieve well defined goals.”
Currently the government is engaged in continuous provision of improved health services for Rwandan population.
“This is done through provision of preventive, curative and rehabilitative health care which contributes to the reduction of poverty and enhances the general well being of the population,” Gatete said.
He added that the grant will be disbursed in two equal installments of 9 million euros for 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 fiscal years respectively.
Belgium has also committed Euro 55 million for the development of energy sector and Euro 28 million to support decentralisation in Rwanda while contributing to the implementation of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy.