Rwanda: Private-Sector Access to Finance for Post-COVID Recovery and Resilience




USD100 million


May 2021
June 24, 2021
June 2023


To facilitate economic recovery and resilience in Rwanda by addressing the financing constraints of private sector businesses post COVID-19.


The Project is supported under AIIB’s COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility (Facility) and will be co-financed with the World Bank (WB), through the International Development Association (IDA). The Project will provide financial support to the government’s own Economic Recovery Fund (ERF), a Fund created to support businesses most significantly affected by COVID-19 in Rwanda. The ERF was established in June 2020 and capitalized with USD 101 million by the Government of Rwanda.

The Project will comprise 4 components:

1. Component 1 – Liquidity and recovery facility

2. Component 2 – Risk-sharing facility, to provide partial credit guarantees and de-risking mechanisms to MSMEs, in support of Component 1

3. Component 3 – Institutional strengthening and implementation, in support of Component 1

4. Component 4 – Contingency Emergency Response Component

AIIB will only finance sub-component 1c (comprising working capital and investment credit line), under component 1.

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) will be the coordinating entity. Implementing agencies for the various sub-components of the Project are as follows:

1. Business Development Fund (BDF) for:

    1. on-lending to micro-finance institutions for subsequent on-lending to micro-businesses, for working capital and investment financing – under component 1, sub-component 1a.
    2. the provision of partial credit guarantees and de-risking mechanisms to borrower MSMEs – under component 2;

2. Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) for:

    1. refinancing of loans to businesses in defined sectors – under component 1, sub-component 1b.
    2. direct lending, and on-lending via commercial financial institutions, to large companies and SMEs, for working capital and investment financing – under component 1, sub-component 1c.

Component 3 comprises technical assistance to both BDF and BRD, for institutional strengthening and implementation support activities within these institutions.

Component 4 is an unfunded, contingency component that can be activated in case of a relevant emergency event; if triggered it will draw on uncommitted WB loan resources under the Project.


The loan will be co-financed with the WB as lead co-financier, and the project’s environmental and social (ES) risks and impacts will be assessed in accordance with the WB’s Environmental and Social Framework (ESF).

To ensure a harmonized approach to addressing the ES risks and impacts of the project, and as permitted under AIIB’s Environmental and Social Policy (ESP), the WB ESF will apply to the project in lieu of AIIB’s Environmental and Social Policy (ESP). AIIB has reviewed the WB ESF and is satisfied that: (a) it is consistent with AIIB’s Articles of Agreement and materially consistent with the provisions of AIIB’s ESP, including the Environmental and Social Exclusion List and the relevant Environmental and Social Standards; and (b) the monitoring procedures that are in place are appropriate for the project.

The WB has categorized the ES risks of the project as “Substantial” (which is equivalent to Category FI if AIIB’s ESP were applicable). Nine of WB’s Environmental and Social Standards (ESS) have been applied to the Project, namely WB’s ESSs on Assessment and Management of ES Risks and Impacts (ESS1), Labor and Working Conditions (ESS2), Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention and Management (ESS3), Community Health and Safety (ESS4), Land Acquisition, Restriction on Land Use and Involuntary Resettlement (ESS5), Biodiversity Conservation (ESS6), Cultural Heritage (ESS8), Financial Intermediaries (ESS9) and Stakeholder Engagement and Information Disclosure (ESS10).

As indicated above, AIIB will finance Component 1c, the working capital and investment credit line. Component 1c will be implemented by Rwanda Development Bank (BRD). Loan proceeds will be used for capital expenditures and operational expenditures in select sectors, and working capital. Project activities are not expected to have large-scale, significant and/or irreversible environmental and social (ES) impacts. No major civil works are expected; and if required, civil works will be carried out within the existing facilities. The main potential ES risks are associated with labor and working conditions, operational health and safety (OHS), community health and safety, dust and noise emissions, energy/water use, waste generation, air/soil/water pollution, exclusion of disadvantaged groups, poor working conditions and child labor at the sub-project level. These risks and impacts are expected to be site specific, reversible and managed with appropriate mitigation measures in compliance with national laws and WB’s ESSs. The environmental and social (ES) instruments for this Project will include the following: (a) an Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) to be used by BRD and BDF; and (b) an Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) to be used by BRD for substantial risk subprojects (as defined under WB’s ESF). Under sub-component 1c., for sub-projects with low to moderate risk, BRD’s ESMS will be applicable. For sub-projects with substantial risk, BRD’s ESMF will be applicable.

BRD will use their existing Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM), which will be improved as part of the ESCP. The ESCP and SEP have been disclosed by BRD, and AIIB’s website includes the link to BRD’s and WB’s websites.


Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Suzanne Shaw

Infrastructure Sector Economist


Gabriel Alfredo Giacobone

Infrastructure Sector Economist


World Bank

Leyla Castillo

Senior Financial Sector Specialist



Amina Rwakunda

Senior Economist, Macroeconomic Policy
Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning


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