Rwanda has continued to enjoy steady economic growth, although it has faced challenges due to the effects of climate change. Rwanda continued to perform well on gender equality; women and men enjoy equal social-economic and political rights. However, the following challenges still exist:
• continued childhood malnutrition
• substantial development gap between rural and urban areas
• high income inequality
• poverty has not been significantly reduced in recent years
The Netherlands and Rwanda’s bilateral programme focuses on key interventions contributing to economic development, while at the same time contributing to:
• assuring enhanced food and nutrition security in the face of climate change risks
• early childhood development
• access to justice for all
• more democratic space for citizens
• managing water resources in a sustainable way
Wherever relevant, economic diplomacy for sustainable trade and investment remained at the centre of every focus area for the Netherlands.
The Netherlands implemented a sizeable bilateral aid programme in the Food and Nutrition Security, Water and Security, and Rule of Law sectors.
Through a multi-sectoral programme, the Netherlands continued to support Rwanda in combating malnutrition, specifically growth problems in children below the age of two. The main success was the significant increase in the use of effective nutrition-specific results in 14 districts.
The integrated water and resources management project led to the completion of a management plans for water resources, providing support to the government in the development of water legislation and implementation capacity.
Rwanda and the Netherlands have productive and close co-operation in promoting the protection of civilians. The capacity of Rwandan NGOs to effectively lobby for human rights has improved.
Special attention was paid to gender, sexual violence and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) rights. The human rights situation in Rwanda has been monitored and concerns about violations have been raised with the appropriate institutions.
Co-ordination in the justice sector has improved. However, capacity remains a challenge and a focus area for improvement.