Country Profile: 

Population (thousand) : 11,609.67
Multidimensional Poverty Index Value : 0.25
Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, Country Rank : 163
Gross Domestic Product per capita, at Purchasing Price Parity (US$): 1,758.7


Rwanda’s economy and its people’s livelihood are highly dependent on natural resources that are under increasing pressure from unsustainable use, soil erosion, deforestation and the impact of increasing climate variability and climate change. As such, unsustainable use of environment and natural resources hinders the achievement of national development objectives.

To support the government in addressing these issues and promoting sustainable development, PEI initiated the country programme . The PEI Rwanda programme focuses on enhancing the contribution of sound environmental management to poverty reduction, sustainable economic growth and the achievement of the MDGs.Thereby the country program is contributing to the achievement of national development goals and the overall PEI Programme outputs. 

PEI Rwanda is jointly led by the Ministry of Environment Natural Resources, the Environment Management Authority, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. In addition various sector ministries such as Local Government and Good Governance, Agriculture, Infrastructure, Energy, Transport, Communications and Commerce are involved in the project implementation. PEI Rwanda is also collaborating with the UNDP CO, the Green Economy Initiative and the Rio+20 processes. 

  • Rwanda’s first EDPRS included poverty-environment linkages as a result of key findings from PEI supported studies which e.g. showed that soil loss contributes to a decline in the country’s capacity to feed 40,000 people/year as well as an annual economic loss of 2% of the GDP. Rwanda adopted its second EDPRS with enhanced links between environment and poverty reduction goals, targets and indicators as a result of PEI support to planning ministries and sectors.
  • Sixteen sector policies include poverty-environment related objectives and capacity of sector planners to mainstream poverty-environment and climate change strengthened following PEI trainings on the topic.
  • Thirty District Development Plans in Rwanda include poverty-environment and climate related objectives including targets to establish ‘green villages’ following the integration of poverty-environment objectives in Local Development Planning Guidelines and the EDPRS supported by PEI.
  • Improved capacity of planning and finance agencies and sector ministries to make informed budget allocations and investment decisions for pro-poor sustainable natural resource management as a result of the practical application of planning and monitoring guidelines and a budget circular call. Between 2004 and 2013 Rwanda’s expenditure on environment and climate change increased from 0.4 to 2.5 % of the national budget.
  • Rwanda’s Parliament endorsed the National Climate and Environment Fund (FONERWA) which was established with support from PEI. FONERWA was operationalized with US$36 million funding from DFID which is used for funding public and private green and climate resilient projects .
  • Environmental Impact Assessments have been institutionalized for all sectors in the wake of PEI supported economic and environmental assessments completed . This has partly resulted in investments in environmentally sustainable agricultural practices and their implementation in all 30 districts.
  • The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda drew on best practices from the PEI supported Rubaya demonstration project and up scaled this work by replicating it in one of Rwanda’s poorest districts, Muhanga.
  • The Government of Rwanda rehabilitated the Rugezi wetland following findings from a PEI supported Economic Analysis of Natural Resources Management. The rehabilitation of the wetland restored electricity production, led to savings of $149,670/per year, and the construction of a 2.1 MW hydro power station and jobs for rural residents with multiplier effects for other socio-economic activities.