Active Grants: 2

GDP (current US$): 9.14 billion (2017)

Population: 12.21 million (2017)

Major Partners

African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States, European Union, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Japan International Cooperation Agency, United Nations Development Programme, World Bank, World Food Programme

INFORM Risk Rating: 5.0

Risk data from INFORM, a global open-source risk assessment for humanitarian crises and disasters, uses a scale from 0-10, with 10 as the highest level of risk.

Primary Hazards

For additional information on the natural hazard risk profile, visit ThinkHazard.


Hazard Risk

Rwanda is prone to droughts, earthquakes, floods, landslides, storms, and volcanoes. The effects of flood hazards have worsened as recent population growth and land scarcity have pushed people to settle in flood-prone areas. In 2012, heavy rains in the northern and western provinces led to flooding that caused extensive damage and impacted about 11,000 people.

Nearly 70 percent of Rwanda’s population is exposed to magnitude 6.0 earthquakes, while 30 percent is exposed to magnitude 5.0 earthquakes. In 2008, two earthquakes occurred within hours of one another (magnitudes 6.1 and 5.0), killing nearly 40 people and destroying 1,201 homes in the hardest hit districts of Rusizi and Nyamasheke.

Since 1970, the country has experienced a higher than global average temperature increase and Rwanda is already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Climate change is bringing more irregular and unpredictable rainfall patterns with shorter rain seasons to the largely rain-fed agriculture sector. Crop- and livestock-suitable areas, growing seasons, and potential yields are expected to continue decreasing. In 2008, erratic rainfall caused maize yield losses of 37 percent in the eastern provinces and 26 percent in the southern provinces.

Government Priorities

The government has scaled up efforts to integrate disaster risk management (DRM) into national policies and long-term development plans. In 2010, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs was established to manage natural and man-made disasters. The country formulated a National Disaster Management Policy of 2012 serves as the country’s legal and institutional framework for DRM and ensures that activities are coordinated and that partnerships are fostered between the government and stakeholders.

The government is also enacting policy to address climate change. The 2011 National Strategy for Climate Change and Low Carbon Development provides a mechanism to mobilize funding to finance climate change resilience programs.

To further advance its DRM agenda, the Government of Rwanda is prioritizing:

  • Strengthening institutional capacity and coordinating DRM mechanisms across sectors;
  • Enhancing disaster preparedness and ensuring alignment with local and national disaster management plans; and,             
  • Contributing to poverty reduction and sustainable development by developing DRM policies. 
GFDRR progress to date

GFDRR has supported disaster risk management efforts in Rwanda since 2008. Key areas include strengthening risk identification and capacity building for DRM and improving disaster preparedness.

In 2008, GFDRR supported activities to develop a partnership among East African countries to strengthen DRM capacity and collaboration at the national and regional level. This led to a subsequent project beginning in 2012 thru the ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction (NDRR) Program for risk reduction and sustainable development in the Horn of Africa, including Rwanda. These activities enhanced the ability of countries to use regional modeling techniques and to better manage the risks associated with climate change.

That same year, and also thru the ACP-EU NDRR Program, activities began to provide the Rwandan government technical assistance to conduct a comprehensive risk analysis, produce evidence-based national and district-level disaster risk profiles, and build disaster risk reduction capacity. As a result, in September 2015, the government launched the first Rwanda National Risk Atlas, focusing on drought, earthquake, flood, landslide, and windstorm hazards. The atlas highlights hazard vulnerability and exposure, and outlines key mitigation recommendations.

Currently, GFDRR is supporting a project in northwest Rwanda to improve flood risk forecasting and disaster preparedness by providing key technical studies, training, and guidance. Activities are expected to enhance early warning systems for at-risk communities and to help develop and implement flood mitigation measures in selected communities and sectors.

GFDRR anticipates new and continued demand from the Government of Rwanda for:

  • Increasing understanding of disaster risk;
  • Improving DRM capacity; and,             
  • Fostering a national dialogue on developing a comprehensive DRM program.

Grants Awarded by GFDRR 2007 - Present

World Bank Engagements 2012 – Present

Project Description
Rwanda - Support to Social Protection System
$40 million | Start date: 03/2012 (Closed)

The operation development objective is to support the government policy reform agenda that seeks to consolidate, enhance efficiencyand effectiveness, and expand coverage of its social protection system.

Rwanda Second Support to Social Protection System
$50 million | Start date: 03/2013 (Ongoing)

The program development objective is to support the efforts of the Government of Rwanda to enhance the effectiveness and expand the coverage of its social projection system. The operation contributes to the second strategic theme of the World Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy to reduce social vulnerability and build a more stable society by ensuring that vulnerable Rwandans benefit from growth.

Rwanda Third Support to the Social Protection System
$70 million | Start date: 03/2014 (Closed)

This third support to Social Protection Systems operation is the last in this programmatic series of three development policy operations, which aims at consolidating support the efforts of the Government of Rwanda to enhance the effectiveness and expand the coverage of its social protection system.

Rwanda Landscape Approach To Forest Restoration and Conservation
$9.53 million | Start date: 08/2014 (Ongoing)

The project development and the global environmental objective is to demonstrate landscape management for enhanced environmental services and climate resilience in one priority landscape.

Transformation of Agriculture Sector Program Phase 3
$100 million | Start date: 10/2014 (Ongoing)

The objective of the operation is to increase and intensify the productivity of the Rwandan agricultural and livestock sectors and expand the development of value chains. The operation supports the Government of Rwanda's strategic objectives of the Transformation of Agriculture Sector Program Phase 3, which aims to enhance food security and nutrition contributing to reduction in poverty and inclusive economic growth.

Rwanda Urban Development Project
$95 million | Start date: 03/2016 (Ongoing)

The objective of the Urban Development Project for Rwanda is to provide access to basic infrastructure and enhance urban management in selected urban centers of the participating districts.

Rwanda Pilot Program for Climate Resilience
$1.5 million | Start date: 02/2017 (Ongoing)

The Project Development Objective is to prepare the Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (SPCR) and strengthen institutional capacity for SPCR implementation.

Rwanda Feeder Roads Development Project - Additional Finance
$84 million | Start date: 12/2017 (Ongoing)

The objective of the project is to enhance all season road connectivity to agricultural market centers in selected Districts.

Rwanda Stunting Prevention and Reduction Project
$25 million | Start date: 02/2018 (Ongoing)

The development objective of the Stunting Prevention and Reduction Project for Rwanda is to contribute to the reduction in the stunting rate among children under five years of age (with a focus on under two) in the targeted districts. The project will support the government to adopt and implement a bold, new national strategy to improve the visibility of stunting in Rwanda, and to deliver harmonized behavior change messages across various platforms.