Today’s Mail on Sunday and MailOnline have both implied that UK aid to Rwanda is being used to fund a £30 million sponsorship deal with Arsenal FC. This is misleading.
UK aid to Rwanda has been carefully and specifically earmarked for programmes that will support the country’s most vulnerable people and help it stand on its own two feet. UK aid is not used for sponsorship deals with Arsenal FC and DFID is not giving any money to Visit Rwanda or the Rwanda Development Board.
Rwanda remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Over a third of its population live in poverty. UK aid contributed to Rwanda’s achievement of lifting almost two million people out of poverty since 2005.
British taxpayers’ support is providing Rwandans with the means to have productive livelihoods, it is helping to educate more than 350,000 children and it is also helping Rwanda to generate more taxes to help end aid dependency.
The International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt has been clear that the UK is assessing where countries can invest in their own systems and that when governments, who could and should be putting their hands in their own pockets refuse to, we should too.
We will continue to prioritise investments in saving lives and ensuring that children have access to a quality education through building sustainable education systems, while encouraging and supporting the government of Rwanda to grow its economy and further increase its own investment in helping people lift themselves out of poverty.
A DFID spokesperson said:
DFID does not give any money to Visit Rwanda or the Rwanda Development Board.
All UK aid to Rwanda is earmarked for specific programmes only, such as education and agriculture, and we track results to ensure value for money for UK taxpayers. We are helping Rwanda to stand on its own two feet, building education systems that they invest in themselves, and supporting increased trade and investment to grow the economy.