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New OPEC Fund loan supports water and sanitation sector
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa (second from left) visiting project sites of the Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Programme (phase I).
The OPEC Fund has provided a loan of US$20 million to co-finance a water and sanitation program in Rwanda. During a high-level mission to the central African country at the end of September, OPEC Fund Director-General Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa signed the loan agreement with Dr Claudine Uwera, Rwanda’s Minister of State in Charge of Economic Planning.
The loan will support Phase II of the Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Programme and help fund the construction of eight water supply systems to serve 14 districts, 7,600 connections and sanitary facilities for 10 schools, among other works. The African Development Bank and the Government of Rwanda are co-financiers.
During the signing ceremony, Dr Alkhalifa said: "Rwanda’s progress in recent years is remarkable and its ambition serves as an inspiration to others…we will work with Rwanda as it continues on its journey of socioeconomic transformation.”
Rwanda continues to make impressive progress on reducing poverty, raising living standards and bringing social benefits to its 12.2 million-strong population.
Dr Uwera said: “This financing supports and complements the government of Rwanda’s efforts and commitment to universal access to water and sanitation services by 2024... by the completion of this program (Phase I and II), it is expected that water and sanitation access will reach 81 percent of national coverage.”
The first phase of Rwanda’s Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Programme, also co-financed by the OPEC Fund with a US$20 million loan, covers water and sanitation infrastructure in the capital Kigali and its environs.
During the recent mission, Dr Alkhalifa and the OPEC Fund delegation visited project sites under Phase I, including the Nzove and Kananze Water Treatment Plants, and met with country officials to discuss strengthening cooperation.
The OPEC Fund has supported development in Rwanda since 1976. During this time, 27 public sector loans amounting to more than US$202 million have been approved, primarily for transportation, water and sanitation, energy and debt relief operations. Private sector lending of US$25 million has been approved in support of small- and medium-sized enterprises in Rwanda.