The Vision 2020 Umurenge Program (VUP) has, so far, increased reaching 120 sectors countrywide during this fiscal year, up from 90 sectors the previous year.
The country has a total of 416 sectors.
VUP is an integrated local development program to accelerate poverty eradication, rural growth, and social protection that started in 2009.
Addressing journalists yesterday, Justine Gatsinzi, the Deputy Director in charge of Social Protection Program at Rwanda Local Development Support Fund (RLDSF) said that the move to increase the programme’s reach will see poverty reduced 24 percent by 2012.
“VUP offered employment opportunities to 590,100 people living below the poverty line, gave direct support to 81,693 and issued soft loans to 92,136 for the last three years,” he said.
Gatsinzi added that over Rwf8.9bn was paid to over 200,000 people who were employed in public work, last year, in 90 sectors, adding that about Rwf2.7bn was provided as direct support to over 40,000 people who lived below the poverty line.
“There has been tremendous improvement in the livelihoods of people in all the sectors where VUP reached and we are embarking on campaign to reduce poverty in the country by increasing the (number of) sectors that will benefit from the program before 2013,” he noted.
Speaking at the event, Theophile Nyandwi, the president of the Advisory Council of Nkombo Sector, Rusizi District said that the sector has registered tremendous success in terms of poverty reduction.
Nkombo is located on an island within Lake Kivu, in the Western Province and was once one of the poorest in the country.
“Our sector has developed, children are going to school, thatched houses have been eradicated now we are competing with other sectors in the country in terms of achieving performance contracts,” he noted.
Laetitia Nkunda, Director General of RLDSF challenged able-bodied people living under the poverty line to embark on income generating projects.
“Our aim is to see poverty reduced in our country in order to achieve 2015 Millennium Development Goals. We hope by the end of 2012, we shall have achieved our target,” she stated.
Nkunda called upon local leaders to own VUP activities and help beneficiaries determine appropriate income generating activities.