United Nations gives Rwanda $400 million to fight hunger and poverty

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 26, 2013 10:08 AM
United Nations gives Rwanda $400 million to fight hunger and poverty

KIGALI (Reuters) - The United Nations has pledged $400 million over five years to help Rwanda reduce poverty, hunger and disease, the government said.

Rwanda relies on external funding, including aid, for about 40 percent of its budget, which stands at 1,653 billion francs ($2.6 billion) for the fiscal year that started this month.

Some $276 million will go towards development - including health, nutrition, education and the environment - while the rest will go to economic and governance projects, the government said in a statement issued on Thursday.

Several international donors last year cut or held back aid to Rwanda over its alleged backing of rebels in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, a charge Kigali denies.

President Paul Kagame has won international praise for progress since the end of the 1994 genocide in his bid to transform Rwanda into a middle-income country by 2020.

But critics accuse him of being authoritarian and trampling on media and political freedoms.

(Reporting by Edmund Kagire; Editing by George Obulutsa and Kevin Liffey)