Highlighted results

3,374 people supported in gaining access to justice.

49,200 people benefited from reduced soil erosion on the hills, reduced residues in water resources and improved retention of water in the soil.

1,497,095 people improved their food intake by receiving vitamin A or micro-nutrient supplements to their diet.


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.

Results 2018

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.

Results by theme

Security and Rule of Law Water Private sector development Food security

Featured project Rwanda

Developing Human Capital in Rwanda

In Rwanda, where tea is among the top export goods, most tea plantation workers are young women. Some of these young women are pregnant, breastfeeding or have young children. Since the plantations are not safe for children, mothers cannot bring them to work to breastfeed or ensure they receive well-balanced meals. UNICEF, with financial support from the Netherlands, is working with the tea companies to improve conditions for its workers and invest in early childhood care. The tea companies build the nursery schools and UNICEF trains the teachers. A tea factory with a location in Gicumbi (among others) has set the example, as shown in this video.

Building happier families through the tea industry

Increased access to early childhood development services for families and children, primarily those in the Rulindo and Gicumbi districts surrounding the tea factory and plantations.

Security and Rule of Law

The results in context

The Netherlands continued to strengthen the rule of law in Rwanda, so that citizens are better able to access their rights through fair, efficient, impartial, independent and accountable institutions. Through sectoral support to the Rwandan government, the Netherlands supported 2,457 people in gaining access to justice. Through our support to the Legal Aid Forum, an additional 917 people were provided with other legal aid services, such as legal representation and legal education.

In line with international human rights policy, the embassy focused on the following priority areas: supporting human rights defenders, promoting freedom of expression and promoting LGBTI rights. The capacity of human rights defenders and journalists has been improved through training on digital safety and reporting on human rights violations. Beneficiaries have been equipped with skills to produce research-based reports and to be aware of their own digital safety.

The Netherlands contributed to the promotion of freedom of expression by supporting a progressive and inclusive radio show. As a result, more public debate has taken place between journalists, civil society representatives, government officials and citizens on the development of Rwanda.


The results in context

In the water sector, the Netherlands has been supporting Rwanda in the introduction of integrated water resources management since 2015.

A technical assistance programme is working with the appropriate authorities on developing management plans for water resources, covering about a third of the country, in order to build capacity.

Key activities of these water resources management plans have been implemented and 49,200 people have benefited from reduced soil erosion on the hills, reduced residues in water resources and improved retention of water in the soil.

Private sector development

The results in context

The key priorities were to increase the Dutch presence in Rwandan agribusiness through the delivery of Dutch services, products and innovations, and to increase Dutch-Rwandan co-operation in the infrastructure, water and renewable energy sectors.

Dutch companies made investments in a variety of sectors, such as energy, agriculture, health and education. The Netherlands, together with the United Kingdom (UK), organised a horticulture conference that brought eight importers from the Netherlands and the UK together in Rwanda. During the conference, a deal was made between a Dutch export company and a Rwandan farm, which resulted in the export of green beans.

During this reporting period, it became apparent that the cold storage infrastructure in Rwanda is inadequate. An agreement has been made between government of Rwanda, the Netherlands and the private sector to address this problem.

The Netherlands, together with the government of Rwanda, has also been working on a procedure to gain market access for Dutch potato varieties, three of which are in the final stage of approval by the Rwandan authorities.

Food security

The results in context

Rwanda has made progress in combating malnutrition and improving food security. However, chronic childhood malnutrition is still a huge challenge, which is also impeding inclusive economic growth.

The Netherlands supports the implementation of a programme addressing the multiple causes of growth problems in children below the age of two and helping to establish optimal conditions for children in the poorest districts, enabling them to achieve their full potential. No fewer than 1,497,095 children below the age of five benefited from improved food intake. This number includes children that received appropriate vitamin A supplementation and malnourished children that received powdered (micro-)nutrient supplements to their diet.

Engagement with the private sector expanded from a partnership with a single tea company to partnering with the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), a government body that covers all tea, coffee and horticulture businesses. Tea companies and tea co-operatives have committed to working towards the reduction of child growth problems. They also support early childhood development by providing child day care facilities for mothers working in their plantations.

Background and future Rwanda

Glimpse into the future

The Netherlands and Rwanda have been close partners for more than two decades. The decision has been made to gradually phase out development co-operation with Rwanda. Our strategy provides clear guidance for a gradual four-year process and a new focus for our relations with Rwanda.

Rwanda and the Netherlands will intensify their efforts to strengthen economic ties while continuing their political co-operation. Over the coming years, there will be an even stronger emphasis on the sustainability of current activities.

At the same time, the Netherlands and Rwanda, together with other partners, will look at innovative approaches and alternative financing mechanisms, for instance through private sector instruments. The objective is to increase economic co-operation, which will benefit both countries.

Access to justice programmes will also contribute towards tackling issues in other sectors: enabling results in land and employment rights, reducing (gender-based) violence and supporting the development of a private sector in a stable legal environment.

Additional sources

Facebook page

Follow the Embassy of Rwanda on Facebook

Embassy of The Netherlands in Rwanda website

Visit the Embassy of The Netherlands website

Results Security and Rule of Law

Download PDF with results for Security and Rule of Law in Rwanda

Results Water

Download PDF with results for Water in Rwanda

Results Food security

Download PDF with results for Food security in Rwanda

Expenditure by channel


Expenditure by theme