Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis and Nutrition Survey 2012

Year published: 12/05/2012

Since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis and the total collapse of Rwanda’s economy and social

services, the country has embarked on rebuilding itself and improving the quality of life of its

population. At the turn of the century, Rwanda still faced enormous difficulties. Sixty percent of its

population of eight million was living below the poverty line, and over 90% of the labour force worked in

mainly subsistence agriculture. Coffee and tea accounted for most exports and half the population was

illiterate. Landlocked, and connected to ports by bad roads, its inputs were all expensive. Public debt

exceeded GDP, which was only US$214 per capita, while other social and economic problems were

severe.

From such a tragically low starting point, Rwanda has accomplished a lot. Progress with implementing

the country’s first Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) has been quite

impressive. Rwanda has exceeded its poverty reduction targets by reducing poverty from about 56.7%

of population in 2005/6 to 44.9% in 2010/11, while extreme poverty has reduced from 35.8% to

24.1%.1

Progress is fast and widespread. In 2011 The Rwandan economy grew at a healthy rate of 7.5%, two

percent higher than the East African Community (EAC) and even more than Sub Saharan Africa (SSA).

The country’s macroeconomic framework was remarkably stable, given the difficult external post-crisis

environment and Rwanda’s position as a highly import-dependent land-locked country

2

. The GDP per

capita was US$ 540 in 20103 (US$ 509 in Uganda), which is above the Vision 2020 target of US$ 400 for

2010. Real GDP growth was 8.5% in 2011, and this was not an exceptional year. Agricultural production

has been continuously increasing and the country is reported to produce enough food to feed its entire

people since 2008. Health indicators have improved, as has school enrolment and access to clean water.