"March Pecsteen, Belgium's ambassador to Rwanda, said increasing life expectancy of Rwandans while reducing maternal and child mortality is a key for Rwanda's economic success."
Kigali, April 25 - Belgium has given Rwanda 18 million euros to finance public health, Rwandan authorities said Thursday.

Minister of Finance Claver Gatete said the grant is to realise the objectives of Rwanda's third health sector strategic plan developed for 2012-2018, Xinhua reported.

The government of Rwanda, the minister said, is presently engaged in continuous provision of improved health services for the country's population.

This is done through provision of preventive, curative and rehabilitative health care which contributes to the reduction of poverty and enhances the general well being of the population, Gatete said at the financing agreement signing ceremony in Kigali.

The grant will be disbursed in two equal installments of 9 million euros for 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 fiscal years respectively, the minister added.

It is expected to contribute to an annual increase in the allocation to the health sector budget for the two consecutive years.

So far, the Belgian government has committed 55 million euros to support health services in Rwanda.

Belgium has been supporting Rwanda's health sector through sector budget support since 2008. A quarter of all Belgian development aid to Rwanda is provided through sector budget support.

March Pecsteen, Belgium's ambassador to Rwanda, said increasing life expectancy of Rwandans while reducing maternal and child mortality is a key for Rwanda's economic success.

Spectacular increase in life expectancy and substantial reduction of maternal and child mortality have become flagship successes of the Rwandan health sector. Rwanda is one of few countries in the world that is achieving key indicators of the Millennium Development Goals in the health sector. This is the result of sound policies and concrete actions to achieve well defined goals, Pecsteen said.


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