The European Union (EU) has committed €40 million (approximately Rwf34 billion) towards making rural road network more accessible as a way of ensuring food security.
The EU made the announcement this Friday emphasizing that the improvement of the roads is key to making it easier for food producers to reach their markets and improve food accessibility in Rwanda.
“The programme will support the rehabilitation and maintenance of a 700 km network of rural secondary roads that link to major roads making food more affordable for consumers and strengthening food security in general,” said a statement from the Belgium based organization.
According to Ambassador Michel Arrion, Head of EU Delegation to Rwanda, it is essential for farmers to be able to take their products to local markets. He says that an improved network of feeder roads will reduce transport costs and have an immediate effect on food security in Rwanda.
“The new programme is an important contribution in helping Rwanda fight poverty and hunger. The country has made considerable progress but a lot remains to be done. The EU is fully committed to support Rwanda in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and increasing food security.”
The new €40 million programme will also provide technical support to prepare, among other things, standards for rehabilitation and maintenance of feeder roads and a manual of procedures for local authorities.
In addition, the EU project will provide training to districts, ministry staff and private sector companies on road rehabilitation and general procurement. The implementation will be a mix of sector budget support (€36m) and technical assistance (€4m).
The EU has been providing budget support to Rwanda since 1999 and general budget support has been framed in a Millennium Development Goals (MDG) contract.