Rwanda is one of the smallest countries on the African continent. The country is known for many achievements such as being one of the only nations to have a majority of females in the national parliament and making solid progress in reducing political corruption. Despite these milestones, the country also faces rampant hunger. Most of the population of Rwanda lives in rural areas and depends on agriculture for food. Here are five facts about hunger in Rwanda:
- Low crop yield is not the only factor contributing to hunger in Rwanda. Lack of access to safe drinking water also leads to malnutrition. To help remedy this problem, the Japanese government donated more than $147,000 to two Rwandan anti-hunger organizations to be used to improve water sources in Rwanda.
- Rwanda, along with countries such as Cambodia and Myanmar, has made the most progress in alleviating hunger between the years 2000 and 2016. The Global Hunger Index estimates that hunger in Rwanda dropped from 58 percent to 27 percent during those years.
- Although hunger in Rwanda has been steadily decreasing, there is still plenty of work to be done. In 2015, the World Food Programme estimated that up to 40 percent of Rwandan children still do not receive the proper nutritional care they need to become successful later in life.
- Violent political conflicts in eastern Congo drive many Congolese people to take refuge within the borders of Rwanda, but often these refugees also face hunger in their new homes. In 2016, Congolese refugees in Rwanda complained that U.N. rations made them sick and many starved with few other choices in terms of food.
- Another factor that contributed to the presence of hunger in Rwanda was the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The violent conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi people of Rwanda interrupted many farmers’ planting and harvesting routines, causing thousands of people to go hungry.
– Mary Grace Costa