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FARG in Rwf19 billion shortfall for Genocide survivors’ housing needs

Beatha Mukangango, a genocide survivor speaks to a journalist in front of her house that was under construction in Ruhango. / File.

The Fund for Support to Genocide Survivors (FARG) is facing a Rwf19 billion shortfall in it budget to be able to renovate over 1,600 houses for survivors.

The revelation was made by Theophile Ruberangeyo, the Director General of the fund at a time the country is marking the 26th commemoration of 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

 

“If we get Rwf19 billion in the next fiscal year, all survivors’ dilapidated houses we have on the list could be immediately renovated”.

 

The fund needs of Rwf31 billion under 2019/2020 fiscal year to renovate over 2,100 houses. However, Ruberangeyo said that only Rwf12 billion was allocated to the shelter programme this fiscal year.

 

“80 per cent of the old houses will be pulled down and build new houses,” he explained, adding that one house is constructed at Rwf12 million.

The districts with most survivors in need of shelter include Huye, Nyaruguru, Rusizi, Nyamasheke and Gisagara.

“Most of the beneficiaries (over 80 %) are elderly Genocide survivors. The other category making 20 per cent are survivors living in urban areas, earning little and surviving on rent. And when they lose jobs /financial capacity, we intervene to support them in terms of shelter.

He said that the intervention by private individuals and the private sector also solves part of the issue though in a limited manner.

“For example, recently the private sector built over 20 houses for genocide survivors in Rubavu district,” he said and added that it was done under Urugerero (national service) implementation after completing Itorero-National Civic Education Training Programme.

Health issue

Ruberangeyo said that the other pressing issue was medical care for survivors suffering from trauma and chronic diseases.

“35 per cent of Genocide survivors have trauma and they need support. Others develop chronic diseases and non-communicable diseases, as more get older, it will require more efforts and financial means to treat them. For instance, the money we used to pay King Faisal Hospital in 2015 increased from Rwf80 million to Rwf240 million every month due to increasing diseases,” he said.

King Faisal Hospital and Rwanda Military Hospital are the main hospitals that provide treatment for survivors with non-communicable diseases such as cancer, pressure, diabetes and others, he said.

So far, the fund has spent over Rwf25 billion in health programme for treating vulnerable survivors.

Students’ welfare

The official added that by September this year, only around 5,000 student Genocide survivors will still be in university as others will have graduated.

“Around 600 new students will join university in the next academic year. In the four years ahead, the issue of education to student genocide survivors will have been finished. But we still remain with the issue of unemployment that might affect them.

  1. That is why most of them, even those who completed university in social sciences, are helped to join TVET short courses and later give them tool kits to be able to create employment,” he said.

He said the fund was working with the National Employment Program, Business Development Fund and Rwanda Cooperative Agency to group the graduates into cooperatives and get tool kits and software to be able to create jobs.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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