Transitional Demobilization and Reintegration Program
Country Brief:

Rwanda has achieved impressive development progress since the 1994 genocide and civil war. It is now consolidating gains in social development and accelerating growth while ensuring that they are broadly shared to mitigate risks to eroding the country’s hard-won political and social stability. Rwanda’s long-term development goals are embedded in its Vision 2020 which seeks to transform Rwanda from a low-income agriculture-based economy to a knowledge-based, service-oriented economy by 2020.

In order to achieve the long-term development goals, the government of Rwanda has formulated a medium-term strategy. The Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS 2)’s highest priority is growth acceleration and poverty reduction through its four thematic areas: economic transformation, rural development, productivity and youth employment, as well as accountable governance. The EDPRS 2 aims to achieve the following goals by 2018: (i) increasing GDP per capita to $1,000, (ii) reducing the poverty rate to below 30% and (iii) the reducing extreme poverty rate to below 9%. An underlying macroeconomic assumption is to accelerate annual GDP growth to 10% over the period 2013-2018. These goals build on remarkable development success over the last decade including high growth, rapid poverty reduction and, since 2005, reduced inequality. Between 2001 and 2012, real GDP growth averaged 8.1% per annum. The poverty rate dropped from 59% in 2001 to 45% in 2011. Starting in mid-2012, Rwanda experienced a sudden and sharp decline in aid. Through appropriate fiscal and monetary policies, high growth and stability prevailed throughout 2012. The economy grew by 8% and inflation was contained below 6%.

Going forward, the private sector, still largely informal, will have to play a bigger role in ensuring economic growth. Poor infrastructure and the lack of access to electricity and limited generation capacity are some of the major constraints to private investment. Some reforms have been implemented successfully to improve the business environment and reduce the cost of doing business. As a result, the country was named top performer in the Rwanda Doing Business 2013 report, among the ten most improved economies in 2013 and Rwanda is now ranked as the third easiest place to do business in Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, reducing the country dependency on foreign aid (40% of the current budget) through a mobilization of domestic resources is critical. While Rwanda has been effectively using aid for development, the country remains vulnerable to fluctuations in aid flows.  The government has successfully increased the domestic revenues to GDP ratio in the past several years, but the level is still far below the regional average.

Last updated: October 2013


TDRP Activities

2nd Emergency Demobilization and Reintegration Project

The Second Emergency Demobilization and Reintegration Project in Rwanda - financed by a $2 million government contribution, $8 million IDA grant, $4.6 million from the Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration multi-donor trust fund (MDTF) and $4.5 million from the TDRP trust fund - provides support to demobilize and reintegrate armed groups of Rwandan origin based in DRC.

This project is the third phase of the Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Program (RDRP) to support the peaceful transition of former combatants and government soldiers to civilian life, which was originally launched in 1997 after the genocide. The first phase of this program was implemented from September 1997 to February 2001. The second phase of the program, from 2001 to 2008, supported by the World Bank and the Multi-country Demobilization and Reintegration Program (MDRP), was successfully implemented.

During the first two phases, approximately 50,000 members of the Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) and the former government’s army, the Forces Armées Rwandaises, as well as 7,000 irregular armed group (AG) members (mostly from eastern DRC) were demobilized and received support for reintegration. Support provided included specialized assistance to more than 3,000 children formerly associated with AG and approximately 8,500 disabled and chronically ill ex-combatants.

Despite the progress under the first two phases of RDRP, an estimated 8,000 Rwandan AG members, mostly of the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), remained outside of Rwanda at the end of 2008, primarily in the eastern region of DRC. The continued presence of FDLR in eastern DRC remained a source of regional tensions and conflict. Their continued repatriation remained a vital objective of Government. In response, a third phase of RDRP was prepared with GoR and supported by the World Bank and the Governments of Germany, Netherlands and Sweden. Progress to date includes demobilization of 4,005 adult members of AG (including 24 female and 121 disabled) and an additional 243 minors released.

The overall goal of this project, consistent with previous program phases, is to support the efforts of the GoR to: (i) demobilize members of armed groups of Rwandan origin and members of the Rwandan Defense Forces; and (ii) provide socioeconomic reintegration support to said members following demobilization, with a particular focus on the provision of such support to female, child, and disabled ex-combatants. The project also sought to mainstream these ex-combatant support services within existing government and other stakeholder programs.

Major achievements through November 2013 include the following:

  • 4,005 AG ex-combatants (including 24 female and 121 disabled) were repatriated from the DRC to Rwanda, demobilized, and returned to their communities of choice; 4,000 RDF ex-combatants (including 4 female, 106 disabled) were demobilized.
  • 7,965 ex-combatants received economic reintegration support such as a small grant and technical assistance to develop an income generating activity, provision of vocational training and support to cooperatives of ex-combatants and other community members;
  • 1,140 ex-combatants received psychiatric assistance;
  • 7,299 dependents of ex-combatants received resettlement kits and support to return to their communities of choice;
  • 2,878 disabled ex-combatants received medical support, monthly allowances, and health insurance;
  • 38 houses designed to address the special needs of severely disabled ex-combatants were built. The Government of Rwandan (GoR) financed an additional 385 houses for less severely disabled using their own funding (as of May 2013);
  • 2,648 vulnerable ex-combatants received additional reintegration support through vocational training, apprenticeship or formal education; and
  • 243 children formerly associated with armed forced were repatriated and received specialized support, including reunification with families and reintegration support such as education grants.

Technical Assistance

TDRP’s financial assistance of $4.5 million to the 2nd Emergency Demobilization and Reintegration Project was depleted and ceased in June 2013. However, the project itself continues and has obtained its extension till June 2014 with a residual of $2.3 million from MDTF. Additionally, the project will be further extended till 2016 with an additional financing of $8.8 million from IDA. Although TDRP does not have extra funding to provide the project, it continues to provide technical assistance to the project through monthly meeting and implementing support missions on its components of monitoring and evaluation, management information system, social reintegration, and support to women, dependents and children.


Country facts
Democratic Republic of Congo
Population (millions) 11.46
Life expectancy at birth (years) 63
Surface area (thousands sq. km) 26,338
Gross national income per capita (current US$) 600
GDP growth (annual %) 8
 World Development Indicators
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