Rwanda may be among the first African countries to achieve the Millennium development Goal I, if it maintains or increases its pace in reducing food insecurity amongst its citizens.
A new report on food security released yesterday by the National Institute of Statistics (NIC) in conjunction with the UN agencies in Rwanda and World Vision indicates that since the previous survey in 2006, the country has registered a 10 percent improvement which reflects a general trend towards better food security.
According to the report, in 2006, 7 percent of households were considered as having poor food consumption scores and 28 percent had moderate scores. This year, they scored 4 and 17 percent respectively.
Despite a decade and a half of rapid and sustained economic growth and recovery after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the report still indicates that there is worrying food insecurity among farmers and women.
It states that 7 percent of women of reproductive age are malnourished, 52 percent of children under the age of four years have stunting malnutrition, while 15.8 per cent are underweight.
The report also indicates that the most food insecure communities are located around the crete of the Nile which covers the Districts of Nyabihu, Ngororero, Nyamagabe and Nyaruguru.
The Southern Province had the highest prevalence of malnutrition among women rated at 10.1 percent followed by the Eastern Province with 8.2 percent.
Presiding over the launch of the report, the country director of UNICEF Rwanda Joseph Foumbi said that going by the statistics, urgent intervention was needed in the affected districts.
“We all come together with all the concerned parties and came up with priority measures to address this problem. We will use the most appropriate approach of involving the community in solving the problem,” Foumbi.
World Food Programme Country Director Abdoulaye Baldé said that there has been great improvement in ensuring food security in Rwanda.
“The 10 percent improvement is a clear indication that Rwanda is on track to achieve the MDG I that requires action on all three food security fronts; availability, accessibility and utilization” said Baldé.