KIGALI, Rwanda, July 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Six years ago, Vincent Kagabo 75, a residence of Pfumbwe sector, Rwamagana district, Eastern Rwanda, could hardly put food on the table for his three children and wife.
Kagabo's misery was unexplainable. He had no land to grow crops to feed his family. However, he was not alone. Thousands of other poor Rwandans were in the same state.
Over 70% of the population engaged in subsistence agriculture.
In 2009, the government introduced a program to feed them. The program, which began in 2009, known as Vision 2020 Umurenge Program (VUP), provides low income families with direct cash for upkeep.
The program is an integrated policy intended to eradicate extreme poverty by the year 2020.
Over 1nmillion Rwandans from 161,821 households have been lifted out of poverty through the program.
Today, Kagabo receives Rwf70,000 allowance every three months or $1 per-day as stipend.
Kagabo managed to save a portion of his stipend. Gradually, it accumulated. "I bought two pieces of land and ten goats. I don't buy food anymore, I get it from my farm," he told KT Press.
According to Vincent Munyeshaka, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, "We target to support 80,500 more people this year." The number will have hit 242,321 households by the end of the year.
The program has three components; direct support where cash is transferred to the poorest households unable to work, public works where the poor are employed, as well as financial services where residents are trained and given credit to set up profitable businesses.
Each family gets a monthly allowance ranging from Rwf7,500 ($10.4) per-person, to Rwf21,000 ($21) for a family of five a day.
According to Munyeshyaka, selected sectors that need immediate support receive interest free start up loans, temporary jobs on public works-sites and the direct cash to fragile residents, all under VUP.
Initially, the program started with a Rwf4 billion (roughly $10 million then) budget, supporting only 30 sectors.
Today, the program has expanded to cover 240 sectors with a budget of at Rwf22.5 billion ($30 million).
Early this year, the World Bank donated $70 million (Rwf49 billion) to support the program. The funds will help the country cut poverty levels below 20% by 2017 and below 10% by 2020.
For full article, visit: http://ktpress.rw/rwanda-gives-a-dollar-per-day-to-its-poorest-2225/
SOURCE KT Press