Rwanda launches FAO funded project to salvage the poor
Written by: George Kalisa
Thursday, April 20th, 2017, 10:20
Ms Odette Uwamariya, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC) has said that the technical cooperation project launched this Wednesday in partnership with FAO aims at strengthening the impact of Rwanda’s VUP- Public works and beneficiaries’ graduation out of poverty.
“FAO has partnered with the government of Rwanda to help in providing agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilizers among other efforts to increase productivity of the vulnerable farmers,” Uwamariya observed.
FOA and MINALOC will under a new partnership shift from the previous strategy of poverty reduction that gave way to direct support of providing required farm inputs to identified members of society until they are lifted out of poverty.
The Permanent Secretary noted that concentrating technical and financial support toward selected beneficiaries is expected to accelerate the poverty reduction process much more and lead to more graduate out of poverty than spreading direct support to many vulnerables who kept in the same economic situation in the last five years when the direct support prevailed.
“We shall do an evaluation every after three years to determine individual progress of the beneficiaries; we’re convinced that directing technical and financial assistance to selected members will give better results than having support spread among many people and those who’ll have graduated out of poverty will help others with their experiences,”
The MINALOC initiative dubbed “minimum package for graduation” is a pilot at the core of the new partnership with FAO as one within MINALOC flagship VUP- public works programme.
Uwamariya said livestock asset transfer to beneficiaries of public works, training and linking them to existing financial opportunities will be part of the new programme.
MINALOC official also underlined the achievements of 2017 with only 94,000 households having benefitted from the direct support, 111,000 from public works and 203,000 received cows short of 350,000 projected by 2020 under the social protection programme.
Attaher Maiga, FAO Representative in Rwanda lauded Rwanda’s efforts to reduce poverty.
“We all work together in the fight to eradicate poverty and Rwanda since 2000 has reduced general poverty levels from 60 per cent to 39 per cent while extreme poverty stands today at 16 per cent down from 40 per cent. This is great work and manifests efficiency and rare commitment to increased coherence between social protection and agriculture,” Maiga observed.
The FAO Representative pledged commitment towards helping more Rwandans graduate out of poverty, stressing that emphasis will be put on groups prune to poverty such as women and children.
Kasim Sajjabi, VSO technical advisor at the National Union of Disability Organisations of Rwanda (NUDOR) one of the participants called on FAO to appreciate more inclusion of PWDs.
“As a person whose role here in Rwanda is to strengthen research and advocacy skills of the disability movement as well as bridging government and CSO collaboration to realize social inclusion of PWDs, I urge the FAO team to prioritize their inclusion in the planned 420 target beneficiaries,” Sajjabi said.
This is because it is universally acknowledged that PWDs worldwide are some of the poorest among the poorest. And in line with the SDG slogan, "leave no one behind", such well-intentioned interventions should purposely target PWDs.” He added.
The pilot programme will cover districts in western and Northern provinces such as Nyabihu, Rubavu, Rulindo and Gakenke. During the launch at Lemigo Hotel were local leaders in charge of social affairs from selected districts, development partners, civil society and media.