One year ago, Executive Secretary David Morrison, took the lead of the United Nations Capital Development Fund, committing to "respond to growing demand for support in the areas of microfinance and local development, while continuing to deliver strong development results on the ground."
This month, he visited Rwanda, one of the 38 Least Developed Countries where UNCDF is contributing to improve the lives of the poorest of the poor through innovative approaches in Local Development and Inclusive Finance.
During his visit, Mr. Morrison visited the District of Rulindo in the Northern Province where UNCDF – together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Belgian Survival Fund (BSF) – supports a Local Development project. The Community Support Project of Gicumbi and Rulindo Districts promotes sustainable community development by improving access to infrastructure and basic services to the population. With a total budget of over US$ 9 million, the project is benefiting a population of about 620,000 people.
Mr. Morrison' was accompanied on his trip by Mr. Justus Kangwagye, Mayor of Rulindo District, who explained how the UNCDF/UNDP/BSF intervention enables the districts to lever capital block grants for basic infrastructure through a partnership with theCommon Development Fund of the , Minister of Local Government, Good Governance, Community Development and Social Affairs (MINALOC). To facilitate this mechanism, in 2005, UNCDF signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Common Development Fund to channel capital block grants to the Districts of Gicumbi and Rulindo for a total amount of US$ 4.6 million.
Mr. Morrison's trip included a tour of the socio-economic infrastructures funded through this mechanism such as the new market of Shyrongy that has created new opportunities for the households to market their agricultural productions and generate revenues; and radical terraces that enable greater agricultural productions and reduces soil erosion.
UNCDF Executive Secretary met with the Minister of Local Administration and Social Affairs, Honorable Protais Musoni, and reaffirmed UNCDF's strong engagement in supporting poverty reduction efforts in Rwanda through Decentralization, Local Development and Social Protection.