Press Release

Partnership between Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and UN Rwanda

14 December 2021

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and UN Rwanda signs the funding MoU for the Joint Project on Nutrition

The Government of Switzerland through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) represented by the Deputy Head of Cooperation, and the United Nations in Rwanda represented by the UN Resident Coordinator, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of the third phase of the Joint Nutrition Project. The project aims at effectively fighting stunting in Rwanda. The signed MoU will be implemented by four Participating UN Agencies namely the World Food Programme (WFP), Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and World Health Organization (WHO).

Kigali, 9th December 2021 - Through the UN Rwanda Sustainable Development Fund (SDF), the Joint Nutrition Project to which SDC will financially contribute up to 4,950,000 CHF (5,316,863 USD) will strengthen the Government of Rwanda’s capacity in an effective and equity-focused policy formulation, strategic planning, coordination, M&E and domestic funds mobilization. Different sectors including WASH, ECD, health, social protection, education, and agriculture, along with increased participation of private sector and civil society actors for sustained gains will benefit from this support.

The project postulate is that well-equipped service providers working in the targeted sectors provide quality nutrition-related services to communities contributing to the reduction of malnutrition including stunting in children. As a result, empowered communities in targeted districts improve their nutrition situation through creating better access to and consumption of a variety of nutrient-dense foods, early identification, and prevention of cases of malnutrition-decreased risk of infectious and diarrheal diseases through improved hygiene and health practices, and increased resilience against shocks.

SDC encourages the active participation of men and women in promoting the access to nutrition related services. The experience has shown that women are the main recipients of nutrition related counseling and services as they are the ones who often accompany their children to health centers. Therefore the access to nutritional care will also be insured for men as well as for women, girls and boys from all ages and categories of the population” ensures Peter Lindenmann, Deputy Regional Director 

Commenting on this renewed great partnership of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the United Nations in Rwanda, the UN Resident Coordinator Fodé Ndiaye commended the continued good collaboration between the two institutions  in striving to achieve all Sustainable Development Goals especially SDG 2 Zero Hunger which cuts across all SDGs.

The UN values the ongoing strong partnership with the Government of Switzerland both globally and here in Rwanda to accompany the UN reforms and accelerate the implementation of the agenda 2030. This new Memorandum of Understanding will contribute to supporting Rwanda’s continued and impressive development. I am strongly convinced that this partnership will have a clear impact on people’s lives, leaving no One Behind.” said Fodé Ndiaye, UN Resident Coordinator

Thanks to the Government of Rwanda since 2000, there have been significant declines in stunting prevalence among children under five. From as high as 52% in 2005, stunting prevalence has dropped by 19 percentage points to 33% in the last Rwanda Demographic Health Survey (RDHS) survey in 2019-2020. Nonetheless, stunting remains high and above the public health threshold of severity (30%) according to WHO classification, still far from the national target at 19% to be reached by 2024. The efforts of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the United Nations in Rwanda are undoubtedly instrumental to moving a needle towards the eradication of stunting and malnutrition in Rwanda.

 About the United Nations in Rwanda

The United Nations system in Rwanda consists of 22 UN agencies, programmes, and funds, both resident and non-resident.

Since the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994, the UN system has been a fundamental partner in the reconstruction of Rwanda. Since 2008, they have been delivering as one: ‘One UN’. This means one leader – the UN Resident Coordinator; one budget; one programme – the five-year Development Assistance Plan (UNDAP II); and one voice. ‘One UN’ capitalizes on the strengths and comparative advantages of the different UN agencies in the UN system and calls for coordinated endeavors for achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to Transform Our World that was set out in Agenda 2030.

Between 2018-2023, the One UN Rwanda has budgeted around US$631 million to assist the country in its development.

About the SDC

The Great Lakes region, comprised of Rwanda, Burundi and the eastern DRC, is a priority region for the South Cooperation Department of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). In the Great Lakes region, Switzerland works to further peace and stability, reduce poverty and protect civilians. It helps to strengthen democratic processes, respect for human rights, social cohesion and employment, especially for young people. In line with Switzerland’s diplomatic and political efforts, these activities aim at strengthening the capacities of local people to overcome crises and challenges.


For more info:

Maureen Twahirwa

Communications and Advocacy Officer

United Nations Resident Coordinator Office 


Partnership between Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and UN Rwanda

Maureen Twahirwa

Maureen Twahirwa

Communication and Advocacy Officer

UN entities involved in this initiative

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
United Nations Children’s Fund
World Food Programme

Other entities involved in this initiative

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

Goals we are supporting through this initiative