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Rwanda's Financial Sector Response to COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic is expected to significantly shake the global and national economy. The IMF has warned of a recession that will be worse than the last global financial crisis since the worldwide lockdown has halted business operations and disrupted income streams.

To mitigate a severe financial damage to Rwanda’s economy, financial institutions led by Rwanda’s Central Bank have announced a series of measures to help the national economy remain on its feet during and post the pandemic. The public sector also remains committed to supporting poor communities that are most likely to be affected by these unprecedented times.

As a market catalyst and convener for the financial sector, AFR in collaboration with other key Stakeholders is working on response strategies to address the financial sector impairments caused by COVID-19 pandemic. Among them, we are creating information channels and feedback mechanisms to maintain close collaborations with our partners and beneficiaries, promoting the continued use of Digital Financial Services (DFS), strengthening research and analytics, as well as providing support to  Insurance Sector Resilience.

Waringa Kibe, Country Director, Access to Finance Rwanda
   The Financial Sector's Response 

A review of recent financial interventions to tackle the economic consequences of COVID-19 in Rwanda.                                                
  • The National Bank of Rwanda announced a Rwf 50 billion stimulus package to increase the liquidity of commercial banks in order to sustain lending to the private sector | 18 March, BNR                                                                                                                
  • Following engagement with banks and mobile telecommunication companies, the central bank announced, mobile money transactions were made free to boost cashless payments | 18 March, BNR                                                                                                                          
  • Commercial banks through the  Rwanda Bankers Association announced their commitment to ease loan repayment conditions to borrowers whose income streams have been affected the pandemic. | 19 March, The NewTimes                                       
  • The Bank of Kigali announced a fund of over $296,000 as a contribution to Rwanda’s relief efforts and part of concessions they’re making for vulnerable clients. | 6 April, CNBC Africa                                                                                                       
  • I&M Bank Rwanda reduces interest rates by 0.5% to cushion customers from COVID-19  | 9 April,   CNBC Africa                                                                                                                           
  • The International Monetary Fund approved a US$109.4 Million Disbursement to Rwanda to address the COVID-19 Pandemic | 2 April, IMF                                                                                              
  • The World Bank Group approved today $14.25 million International Development Association credit in immediate funding to support Rwanda’s response to the global COVID-19 | 7 April, World Bank                                                                                               
  • Rwanda is among 25 countries to receive immediate debt relief  from the IMF to help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic | 13 April, IMF                                          
  • I&M bank staff announced a contribution of 153.2 M RWF of financial support to the most vulnerable and support the collective efforts of the government of Rwanda | 21 April, I&M Bank Rwanda                                                                                                           
  • Equity Bank Rwanda  contributed about 22,225 testing kits worth RWF 1 billion to the government of Rwanda in support of the national efforts to combat Covid-19 | 27 April, Equity Bank                                                                                                                          
  • KCB Bank has contributed RWF 100 M towards emergency interventions to cushion vulnerable citizens affected by the Covid-19 pandemic| 27 April, KCB Bank Rwanda                                           
  • Sanlam Rwanda, an insurance firm, has contributed Rwf70 million towards government’s efforts to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic | 23 April,  The NewTimes
  The Public Sector's Response
  • The Rwandan government has rolled out a social protection plan to support citizens affected by the prolonged reduction in income and limited affordability to basic needs during COVID19 | 29 March, KT Press                                                                              
  • Top Rwandan government officials will raise an estimated Rwf2.5bn following their decision to forfeit their April 2020 as a contribution to the COVID-19 social protection scheme | 06 April, KT Press                                                                                                      
  • Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) has announced a  revised customs clearance process  | 24 April, RRA                                                                                                             
  • The Ministry of Trade and Industry announced measures adopted by the Government to support the business community and to minimise declining cash flows which impact loan repayment and the maintaining of staff | 21 April, The Ministry of Trade
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