Foro Global sobre Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición (Foro FSN)

Dear forum members,

I would like to share with you one example of social protection scheme and how it has contributed to the promotion of nutrition in my country, Rwanda. In Rwanda, there are several forms of social protection schemes including health insurance (this has improved health care in Rwanda dramatically), the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP), one cow per poor family, among others. My contribution to the present discussion will focus on one cow per poor family which is linked to the third question of this topic.

Under the name of Girinka programme, it was initiated by the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame in 2006. The programme targets poor households and enable them to own an improved dairy cow. In principle, first, a poor family (inclusion criteria have been established) receives a cow free of charge. Second, when the initial cow reproduces, the first female calf is given to a neighbor who passes on a female calf to another neighbor, and so on.

Beneficiaries of “one cow per poor family” report a daily milk consumption of five litres. Additionally, their neighbors who have not benefited from the scheme report that their children (<5 years) now have milk regularly (see, Report no. 2434-rw). Furthermore, the manure can be used for crop fertilization and biogas. Malnutrition is also being addressed through school feeding programs as result of one cow per poor family.

Of course, many challenges remain, but the government is committed to improving nutrition through multisectoral approaches.  To end my contribution, I would like to add that income or in-kind transfer is necessary but not sufficient to improve nutrition. I would also like to support Mr. NGOUAMBE Nestor’s contribution by saying that women must be given opportunity to have control over resources, given their recognized role in improving nutritional status of their families.