from Reuters Africa
KIGALI (Reuters) - The World Bank has approved a $70 million grant to help Rwanda finance poverty reduction programmes under a new five-year growth strategy, the bank said on Friday.
In 2007, Rwanda launched an Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) that it hopes to implement between 2008 and 2012.
The programme sets guidelines for a move towards a middle income state by training its human resource, transforming the agricultural sector, investing in infrastructure and widening its export base.
Fourteen years after Rwanda's genocide of 800,000 people, the country remains one of the world's poorest with more than half of its population living on less than a dollar per day.
The $70 million grant is the fourth in a series linked to Rwanda's poverty reduction strategies that have been running since 2002, the World Bank said.
"The Fourth Poverty Reduction Support Grant ... aims at supporting measures to ease the infrastructure constraints to growth and build the human capital and skills base required to transform the economy to be export based and service oriented," the bank said in a statement.
Rwanda hopes to cut poverty levels from a current 56.9 percent to 46 percent by 2012, which remains far below the 34.7 percent target set under Millennium Development Goals.
The small central African nation needs some 5.1 trillion Rwandan francs to spend over the next five years as it implements its new strategy.
Rwanda has said its economy will grow by 7.1 in 2008 driven by continued growth of the service and industrial sector,
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