Since 1981, IFAD has financed 14 rural development programmes and projects in Rwanda for a total amount of US$201.8 million. The financing provided by IFAD consists of loans on highly concessional terms and, since 2008, full grant funding based on the Debt Sustainability Framework. IFAD-funded grants have financed the activities of two projects supporting post-conflict reconstruction efforts and refugee rehabilitation. Through a grant totalling US$3.8 million the IFAD/Belgian Survival Fund Joint Programme financed a programme to re-establish public health services in war-torn districts.
There are currently two generations of IFAD-financed programmes and projects. The first, designed during the 1980s and 1990s, included integrated rural development programmes and projects. These programmes and projects aimed to develop the agricultural sector in specific parts of the country by identifying all related elements and linking them together. Projects of the second generation, in place since the mid-1990s, call for activities that have an impact beyond the local level. They focus on a single aspect of rural development, such as market access or agricultural production and its relation to government policy-setting or other national initiatives already in place, to favour their replication in the rural environment. They include four ongoing projects.
IFAD's strategy in Rwanda, as documented in its Country Strategic Opportunities Programme (COSOP) for 2013-2018, is aligned with the government's Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy II and Strategic Plan for the Transformation of Agriculture III, as well as the IFAD Strategic Framework for 2011-2015. Its overall objective is to reduce poverty by empowering poor rural men and women to actively participate in transformation of the agriculture sector and rural development – and by reducing their vulnerability to climate change.
The COSOP's strategic objectives are to:
- Sustainably increase agricultural productivity through management of the natural resource base and investments in physical and social capital – including scaled-up agricultural intensification – resulting in improved incomes and livelihood
- Develop climate-resilient export value chains, post-harvesting processes and agribusiness to increase market outlets, add value to agricultural produce and generate employment in rural areas
- Improve the nutritional status of poor rural people and vulnerable groups included in the process of economic transformation.