Rwanda is a small landlocked country in East Africa. It is bordered by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the west, Tanzania to the east, Uganda to the north, and Burundi to the south. The population is rural and young; over 45% are under age 18. With a population of 12 million people growing at 2.4 percent annually, Rwanda is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa.
Since the 1994 genocide, the Government of Rwanda has recorded significant achievements in poverty reduction, gender equality, environmental sustainability, food production, education and public health, in line with the Millennium Development Goals. However, 38.2 percent of the population continues to live below the poverty line and almost one fifth is food insecure. Levels of stunting among young children remain very high, at 35 percent. Just over 12% of children between the ages of 3-6 have access to any type of early learning and development services, which tend to be in urban areas and too costly for poorer parents.
The beginning of life is an especially vulnerable time for children. Out of every 1,000 births in Rwanda, around 50 of these children do not survive to see their fifth birthday. For every 100,000 mothers who give birth, around 210 do not survive. These rates of mortality are much higher in rural areas and among the poorest families.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy, with 89 percent of rural households practicing small-scale farming. However, poor rainfall, drought, floods and the limited amount of land that is suitable for agriculture, alongside pests and diseases, continue to pose risks to food security.
This assignment was done for UNICEF. UNICEF began its development work in Rwanda in 1986. After the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. UNICEF is committed to realizing the rights of all children to help them build a strong foundation and have the best chance of fulfilling their potential. Ensuring a happy and healthy child begins before birth: from ensuring that their mother has access to good neonatal care and delivers her baby in a clean, safe environment, to reaching adulthood as a responsible, healthy and informed parent. This journey relies on a child having access to shelter, good nutrition, clean water and sanitation, health care and education.