The Rural Finance Expansion Programme (RUFEP) is a follow up of the Rural Finance Programme (RFP) that completed its implementation on the 30th September, 2013. The Financing Agreement for RUFEP between the Government of the Republic of Zambia, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Spanish Food Security Facility Trust Fund (SFSFTF) was signed on 22nd July 2014.

Following the signing of the Financing Agreement, RUFEP was declared effective on 22nd July, 2014. Building on the lessons learnt from the Rural Finance Programme (2007-2013), RUFEP aims to improve livelihoods of poor rural households through enhanced access to financial services and sustainable economic growth. The primary target beneficiaries of the programme are the rural poor particularly the economically active micro and small entrepreneurs, small holder farmers especially women and the youth.

The Ministry of Finance through the Investment and Debt Management Department is the Lead Programme Agency and has overall responsibility for the implementation of the Programme. In line with the financing agreement, the MOF established a Programme Coordinating Office (PCO) to coordinate the implementation of RUFEP.