EDITORIAL: Poverty eradication policies are making real impact

Results from the new Ubudehe Social Categorisation completed by the government in 2015 have indicated that over half of Rwandan families are perceived as well-off. These fall under Category Three of the classification and comprise 53.7 percent of all the households in the country-5.7 million people.

Results from the new Ubudehe Social Categorisation completed by the government in 2015 have indicated that over half of Rwandan families are perceived as well-off. These fall under Category Three of the classification and comprise 53.7 percent of all the households in the country-5.7 million people.

The report is good news for all Rwandans but also a big vote of confidence in the government poverty eradication programmes. It shows that if the government strategy on poverty eradication is consolidated, even the families in category one will be able to move to category two in the next few years.

Although having 53.7 percent of the families in the well-off category is a big achievement, it is not yet time to celebrate, until every Rwandan household is categorised as well-off.

However, going forward more focus should be put on the 376,192 households in category one, which includes families that live in extreme poverty without the ability to own or rent a house, and often struggle to get food and basic items.

A review of the poverty eradication policies should be done focusing on this category of Rwandans because they are people who need to be supported most. Social protection programmes should be enhanced to empower families in category one so that they can independently engage in activities that will transform their lives.

Category Four, which comprises people who are very rich being big farmers and successful business persons among others, should also be supported to grow their businesses and in turn employ more people and transform their standards of living.

With government target of creating 200,000 jobs annually under the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy11, there is hope that the war against poverty could be won sooner than later. However, the fight against poverty is every ones responsibility, not government alone.

 

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