FAO in Rwanda

FAO and other UN agencies join forces to strengthen Rwanda’s social protection

Minister Anastase Shyaka ( left) and UN Resident Coordinator, Fodé Ndiaye ( right) launch the new Joint Programme in Kigali. ©UNRwanda

The Government of Rwanda and One UN in Rwanda, today launched a new project aimed to support Rwanda’s efforts towards ending poverty in all its forms and reduce malnutrition.

The two-year programme “Accelerating Integrated Policy Interventions to Promote Social Protection in Rwanda” will target the most vulnerable households in five districts; Kirehe, Karongi, Burera, Nyamagabe, and Rutsiro.

Specifically, the programme will improve access of the households to social protection, and economic empowerment, while building their resilience to climatic shocks and improving their access to agriculture inputs and nutrition support.  

Currently, national poverty figures in the 2018 Integrated Household Living Survey (EICV5) shows that poverty stood at 38.2 percent and extreme poverty at 16.0 percent. The poverty incidence is higher in rural areas than in urban areas (32.1 percent and 13.4 percent respectively). Elimination of both poverty and malnutrition remain among the government’s urgent key priorities for 2020.

The programme will be financed to a tune of about USD 3 million (3 040 000) contributed from the Joint Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Fund, and participating UN agencies. It will seek to establish innovative community mechanisms towards strengthening delivery of nutrition-sensitive, resilience-enhancing and adaptive social protection to vulnerable and food-insecure people, particularly in climate-shock prone areas, in a gender-sensitive way.

“We commend the government of Rwanda that stands out as exemplary in its strong structure, clear goals, and effective commitment to achieving tangible results. This provides a conducive context for the UN to work, and partner with the Government and national stakeholders and contribute to the development of the country and the wellbeing of the people leaving no one behind, through the very relevant for poverty eradication of the social protection framework”, said Fodé Ndaiye, UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda.

“The Government of Rwanda is strongly committed to eradicating poverty through strengthening partnerships and collaboration with the One UN. This Joint Program will accelerate graduation of poor households, create opportunities for the local communities and individual households to live a decent life, and build resilience. The principle of “leave no one behind” is embedded in Government of Rwanda’s policies and programs. We’re therefore pleased to partner with One UN in the implementation of this joint programme, which aims at transforming lives of the local communities, through innovative approaches and solutions, that will contribute to the achievement of the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) and the SDGs”, said Shyaka Anastase, Minister of Local Government.

The initiative will be jointly implemented by three UN agencies working in Rwanda, namely; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), UN Children’s Agency (UNICEF) and UN World Food Programme (WFP), in partnership with national partners; Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC) as lead, Ministry in charge of Emergency Management (MINEMA), Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), and Local Administrative Entities Development Agency (LODA).

About the SDG Fund

The Joint Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Fund was set up by the Member States of the United Nations to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs globally.

The joint programme will also contribute to achieving the ambitious SDG targets in eliminating poverty and hunger, significantly reducing inequalities while working in a climate-smart manner. The joint programme is a part of the United Nations Development Plan for Rwanda (UNDAP 2018-2023) and it is aligned with Rwanda’s National Strategy for Transformation (NST1 2017-2024) and Social Protection Strategic Plan (2018-2024).

According to FAO, Social protection is a set of interventions whose objective is to reduce social and economic risk and vulnerability, and to alleviate extreme poverty and deprivation.

Within Rwanda’s Social Protection Strategic Plan 2018/19 – 2023/24, ‘a vulnerable person/household’ is defined as “an individual or household who is less able to withstand socio-economic shocks and therefore at an elevated risk of experiencing declines in welfare and or other forms of social deprivation.”


Teopista Mutesi | Communications Specialist | Email: [email protected] OR [email protected]