Survivors Fund is still relevant

The government, through the Fund for Assistance of Genocide Survivors (FARG), has among other things highlighted numbers of survivors who benefitted from its housing, health and education interventions.

The government, through the Fund for Assistance of Genocide Survivors (FARG), has among other things highlighted numbers of survivors who benefitted from its housing, health and education interventions.

In all, 68,367 students benefitted from FARG funding in secondary schools and more than 13,000 in higher learning institutions in the past 15 years.

At least 12,000 individuals benefited from its health intervention, received treatment from specialised medics, while more than 160 benefitted from free community health insurance.

Some beneficiaries of education funding have already risen to leadership positions. FARG was set up by the government 15 years ago to support vulnerable Genocide survivors.

It is right to highlight the successes. Individuals and organisations benefiting from taxpayers’ money must provide accountability for the funds to ensure maximum impact.

Obviously, there have been reports of alleged mismanagement of funds in the past and some sub-standard, over-billed housing for survivors, and crafty contractors pocketing the money and vanishing into thin air.

Whoever was implicated should be brought to book.

FARG, however, should not be perceived as a failure on this basis since there are many survivors programmes that were implemented successfully with funding from FARG.

The education and health programmes have changed lives of thousands of people. The programme is even more relevant now that we are striving for self reliance.

Ever since the Genocide commemoration period started, we have highlighted the plight of Genocide widows who still need decent shelter.

Providing direct financial support in form of loans or giving students some additional skills and materials to gainful economic activities would be a good policy.

But there is need for tight measures and rigorous screening of service providers to guard against unscrupulous individuals. Also, leaders who abate such criminal acts must be held accountable for their wrongs, to ensure that the fund serves the purpose for which it was established.

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