Rwanda: Food Assistance Fact Sheet - September 30, 2019
• Rwanda has long provided shelter and protection to populations fleeing violence and insecurity in neighboring countries. The country has hosted Congolese refugees and asylum seekers for over two decades; approximately 76,000 Congolese refugees resided in Rwanda as of September. Separately, following violence and insecurity in Burundi in 2015, roughly 72,000 Burundians sought refuge in Rwanda. Rwanda currently hosts more than 149,000 refugees and asylum seekers, according to the UN.
• The Government of Rwanda (GoR) is a signatory to the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), an initiative that aims to improve refugees’ lives and reduce dependency on donor funding, and has committed to increase refugees’ access to civil documentation, education, health insurance, and livelihoods. Under the CRRF, the GoR has also increased coordination with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help refugees in Rwanda build self-reliance through economic inclusion.
• According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), most refugees in Rwanda will likely not experience acute food insecurity through January 2020 due to humanitarian assistance and sustained refugee integration into national safety-net systems. However, refugees would likely face Stressed (IPC 2) levels of acute food insecurity if humanitarian assistance efforts ceased or decreased.* FEWS NET also anticipates that Minimal (IPC 1) levels of acute food insecurity will persist at the country level through January 2020, as above-average June harvests and favorable harvests projected from December to January increase access to food.
• With support from USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP), the UN World Food Program (WFP) distributes locally and regionally procured in-kind food assistance to refugee households in camps and refugee reception centers throughout Rwanda. Additionally, WFP provides cash-based transfers for food to Congolese and Burundian refugees residing in camps.
• Through FFP contributions, WFP implements nutrition activities among refugee populations for the prevention of acute malnutrition in children younger than five years of age, pregnant and lactating women, and people living with tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS. With FFP support, WFP also provides daily school meals for refugee children and children in host communities living close to the refugee camps.