• The Government of Rwanda has eased the lockdown on Mayst 2020 and movements are now allowed from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm while maintaining some prevention measures.
• UNICEF essential staff is also gradually back to work and implementing both the COVID-19 response plan and critical activities identified in the Programme Criticality which was finalized by the UNCT in April 2020 • Around 3 million people were reached by UNICEF and partners with messaging on COVID-19 prevention and access to related services;
• 1,983,095 students were reached with radio lessons to support learning at home during school closures;
• 8,000 caregivers of children aged 0-23 months received counselling on infant and young child feeding.
Funding Overview and Partnerships
In 2020, UNICEF Rwanda has appealed for US$ 5 million to support the Government of Rwanda’s National COVID-19 Response Plan. The current funding gap is US$ 4,680,000 (94 per cent). Without additional funding, UNICEF will not be able to address the most urgent needs of children and families in Rwanda who are affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Rwanda’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on 14 March 2020. As of 18 May, there were 297 confirmed cases of whom 203 have recovered. Most confirmed cases have recent travel history or are contacts of COVID-19 cases. No deaths have been reported and all confirmed cases entered isolation in designated locations and are being closely monitored.
In April, the Government identified a new cluster of COVID-19 linked with truck drivers transporting goods from different countries across Rwanda’s Rusumo border. This increases the risk of infection in Rwanda and reflects the need to increase testing among high risk clusters for early identification and isolation of COVID19 cases.
The Government of Rwanda responded rapidly to the first confirmed case by enhancing existing prevention measures. On 15 March, all schools and places of worship were closed, and the Government continues to promote social distancing and handwashing by providing handwashing facilities at commercial establishments. On 21 March, lockdown measures where established by the Prime Minister’s Office for an initial period of two weeks, which were extended until 3 May. These measures include border closures (save for commercial cargo), limiting movements within the country, and closure of all businesses and markets except those selling food, cleaning supplies, medicine and fuel.
The fast-evolving epidemic and the rapidly established prevention measures have an unprecedented effect on social sectors. UNICEF is supporting the Government of Rwanda in first-line emergency response (health and WASH) and the necessary adaptation of service provision in education, nutrition, child protection and social protection. These sectors are crucial in mitigating the medium and longer term negative effects of the epidemic on the most vulnerable communities.