Rwanda announces transformative program to lift over 300,000 households out of poverty in two years

On 11 January 2024 at 04:34

Claudine Nyinawagaga, the Director General of the Local Administrative Entities Development Agency (LODA), has unveiled an ambitious plan to assist 315,000 households in breaking free from poverty within a two-year timeframe. The initiative introduces a fresh approach, moving away from the existing system that supports residents based on the Ubudehe social economic classes category.

The announcement was made during a meeting on the program’s implementation in Karongi District on January 10, 2024. Officials and development partners from Karongi District attended the event.

This Cabinet-approved program, established in November 2022, seeks to expedite the process of lifting individuals out of poverty. The decision to revamp the system arose from concerns that the previous approach led some recipients to become dependent on continuous support, hindering their efforts to improve their lives independently.

Under this new program, citizens not only receive assistance but also actively engage in defining their role. They are required to sign a performance contract outlining how the aid will be efficiently utilized to propel them toward a brighter future.

One significant change is the collaboration between government institutions and non-governmental organizations. This partnership aims to prioritize vulnerable residents identified by the government, ensuring a more coordinated and impactful approach.

According to Nyinawagaga, the monitoring process has been strengthened to prevent the abuse of support. The government will assess factors such as children’s school attendance, potential conflicts at home, and help resolve disagreements within households.

Théophile Niragire, the Vice Mayor of Karongi District in charge of economic development, stated that while 36,000 households in the district require assistance, the program will initially focus on 9,184 households. The district engaged with these households individually to understand their specific needs for poverty alleviation.

Over 5,000 households expressed a desire for cattle, while more than 900 households identified their need for livestock. Additionally, 643 households highlighted their interest in vocational training, and 294 households specified a need for vocational training along with the related equipment.

Partnerships with non-profit organizations and faith-based organizations are being sought to support the initiative.

Nyinawagaga highlighted that nationally, 900,000 households require support, with the initial plan to assist 315,000 households. The program will be implemented across 30 districts in the country.

With an annual expenditure of Rwf67 billion on households’ poverty alleviation, Rwanda is set to invest over Rwf130 billion in two years to lift these households out of poverty. This figure excludes interest-free loans and guarantees provided to beneficiaries, as well as the contributions from development partners.