You have in hand our 2021 end of year quarterly Newsletter! Please read these amazing stories on how UN Agencies working together with Government and different partners are impacting the lives of people, leaving no one behind: girls and women’s wellbeing, turning dreams into reality in Burera District, efficient border management increasing socio-economic activities between DRC and Rwanda, training to help women farmers grow their business, support to women livelihoods recovery in Nyamasheke, Musanze and Nyagatare, tapping on the country’s home grown solutions to fight COVID-19, increasing financial and digital literacy through the LENGA app, and leveraging technology to foster inclusion of the visually impaired. This is what the Sustainable development agenda and the SDGs are about: reaching the last mile for the vulnerable and excluded and fostering a more equitable society.
These results are commendable in the midst of these unprecedented intertwined COVID-19 crisis: health and socio-economic, with a wide-range of personal and societal effects. COVID-19 and climate change (as shown by the Glasgow COP26) have tested our humanity, our solidarity and beyond our survival as human beings. In such a context, the Government has shown a remarkable leadership, by being the first African country to revise its strong National Determined Contributions (NDCs) and by continuing, with our joint efforts, front line workers, citizens, UN, other development partners, to be at the forefront of fighting the Pandemic. The vaccination national plan has reached the WHO Global target of 40% fully vaccinated of the population and we are optimistic that the one of 70% by mid-2022 will also be achieved! The UN will continue its advocacy for vaccine equity and we welcome the African initiative for setting vaccine manufacturing including in Rwanda.
In all those aspects, multilateralism, with a renewed and networked UN at its center, is, more than ever, critical. In such spirit, in October 2021, the land of a thousand hills joined the UN to celebrate UN Day. This marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter to honor the interstate organization promoting human rights, social progress, and world of peace for all. The UN Day was celebrated in partnership with the City of Kigali and graced by Hon. Dr. Vincent Biruta, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. We thank Ministers, Development Partners, all our stakeholders for joining UN staff in celebrating the UN Day. The commemoration was also marked by blood donation to the National Centre for Blood Transfusion. With the high turn up in numbers, we say sincere thanks to those who voluntarily donated blood to save lives. Other commemorations include the World Food Day, the World AIDS Day, the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence, the Human Rights Day, showing our convergence towards human rights for all and a more inclusive, stable and peaceful society, requiring a whole of government and a whole of society including Citizens, CSOs, Private sector, Development Partners, approach!
UN has also extended and strengthened its partnerships; both with the private sector and with our usual strategic partners: Sweden and Switzerland.
The United Nations and Equity Group Holdings, Equity Group Foundation and Equity Bank Rwanda signed a letter of intent to collaborate in accelerating implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The signed partnership will promote social inclusion and improve economic outcomes for human development contributing to the socio-economic transformation of the country. Indeed, the private sector is crucial in scaling up the implementation of the Agenda 2030, enhancing resource mobilization and moving from funding to financing.
Sweden’s Ambassador to Rwanda, and the United Nations Resident Coordinator signed an amendment to the agreement of cooperation with the Government of Sweden and Sida of about USD 4.2 million. Through this partnership, Sweden enables the UN to allocate funding to several joint programs including those in the areas of inclusive economic growth, climate resilience, gender equality and governance to facilitate reaching the SDGs.
The Government of Switzerland through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with an amount of about USD 5.4 million for the implementation of the third phase of the Joint Nutrition Project which aims at effectively fighting stunting in the country. We highly appreciate the continued partnership and financial support from both Governments. The agreements complement the additional support and resources from the Netherlands through the SDG Fund, as well as KOICA, Japan, USA, and other Development Partners and global UN Funds (SDG-Fund and PBF).
This signature of agreements was part of the One UN Steering Committee Meeting chaired by the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic and during which we presented our Common Country Analysis, the UN independent and impartial view on the country’s socio-economic situation, our Mid-Term Performance Review as well as our revised United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2018-2024.
Globally and in country, UN is very proud to be a trusted partner of the Government and the people of Rwanda in the remarkable trajectory of transformation in all areas: in governance, in economic transformation, in social transformation and in the improvement of the well-being for the people. We thank the Government for being one of the top contributors to peace keeping mission forces. Let us keep on aligning our collective contributions to national priorities striving towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to build a better world for all, Leaving No One Behind- sparing no efforts in this Decade of Action.
As we come to the end of 2021, we thank you all for your strong resolve, resilience and tenacity in playing your part to still deliver on national development agenda. I and our collective leadership are very proud of UN colleagues, of your tireless efforts in contributing to positively transforming people’s lives and more importantly for whom it is worth sweating. We also thank your families and friends supporting you every day and every night! We look forward to continued collaboration and partnership to deliver even more in the years ahead.
Happy festive season and Prosperous 2022. May you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.