East Africa

Rwanda: IMF approves US$ 319mln loan to build resilience to climate change

KIGALI-The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved US$ 319 million loan asked by Rwanda under the Resilience and Sustainability Facility [RSF].

According to IMF, Rwanda is the first African country to secure access to the RSF, which was created this year with the aim of helping low-income and vulnerable middle-income IMF members address longer-term structural challenges such as climate change with longer-term, low-cost financing.

The RSF-supported programme will advance Rwanda’s efforts to build resilience to climate change by improving the transparency and accountability in the planning, execution, reporting, and oversight of budget resources dedicated to addressing climate change.

“The program will include [facilitating] green public investment, creating further fiscal space, mitigating financial risks, and strengthening public debt dynamics and prospective balance-of-payments stability.”

However, IMF notes that the disbursements of the money to Rwanda will be contingent on the conclusion of relevant reviews under a new 36-month Policy Coordination Instrument [PCI] approved on Monday and implementation of scheduled reform measures agreed as part of the RSF arrangement, which establishes Rwanda’s broad economic reform goals. The new PCI for Rwanda replaces an instrument approved on June 28, 2019.

Programme performance under the 2019 PCI has been relatively strong with all quantitative and standard continuous targets through end-June 2022 met, and all but one of the reform targets through end-September 2022 completed, says the IMF.

“The new PCI will continue to support Rwanda’s macroeconomic policies and reforms, with a greater emphasis on policies to ensure macroeconomic stability and reforms to mitigate pandemic scars and to build socioeconomic resilience to shocks and insure against downside risks.”

Bo Li, deputy managing director and acting chair of the IMF Board added: “Rwanda has become the first African and low-income country to benefit from the RSF, a recognition of the country’s commitment to strengthen its resilience to climate change.”

“The Rwandan authorities implemented a sizable policy package to protect the most vulnerable against multiple shocks, while steering the economy to protect macroeconomic stability and advance their reform agenda under the Policy Coordination Instrument,” he added.

However, the IMF official said global headwinds are slowing economic activity amid high unemployment, elevated inflationary pressures and limited fiscal space, compounding the challenges from pandemic scars and climate-related events.

Under the new PCI, the Rwandan government will focus on policies to ensure macroeconomic stability, foster economic growth, and enhance socioeconomic resilience. “Timely adoption of domestic revenue mobilisation measures envisaged under their mediumterm revenue strategy and the launching of a spending rationalisation strategy will be critical for the credibility of the envisaged fiscal consolidation and to safeguard debt sustainability.”

The Rwandan government is expected to continue strengthening capacity to manage fiscal risks and adopt more effective and transparent public financial and investment management practices, says IMF.

“More decisive monetary tightening by the National Bank of Rwanda [NBR] is needed to contain inflationary pressures, while ensuring greater exchange rate flexibility remains key for external stability. Continued monitoring of the financial sector to ensure risks remain contained while deepening financial markets and promoting financial inclusion is also important.”

The IMF commended Rwandan government’s commitment to building socioeconomic resilience through adaptive social safety nets, human capital investments, and economic diversification policies and climate resilience reforms.

“The RSF arrangement, underpinned by a strong reform package will help advance Rwanda’s efforts to build climate resilience. The reforms under the RSF are expected to strengthen and institutionalize monitoring and reporting of climate-related spending, integrate climate risks into fiscal planning, improve the sensitivity of public investment management to climate-related issues, strengthen climate-related risk management for financial institutions, and strengthen the disaster risk reduction and management. The RSF is also expected to catalyze further climate finance from official and private sectors.”


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