The National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda today released the key findings of the Fourth Household Living Conditions Survey (EICV4:2014) that gauges the living standards of Rwandans and gives a picture of the country’s progress in poverty reduction.
According to the findings, since 2011, poverty levels have reduced by 5.8 per cent from 44.9 per cent to 39.1 per cent in 2014 graduating about 660,000 people from poverty. Extreme poverty has also reduced from 24.1 per cent to 16.3 per cent in the same period. This follows a 12 per cent poverty reduction (from 56.7 per cent to 44.9 per cent) between 2006 and 2011 where a million Rwandans were lifted out of poverty.
Inequality also reduced with both Gini coefficient dropping from 0.49 in 2011 to 0.45 in 2014 and the ratio of the wealthiest 10 per cent to the poorest 10 per cent dropping from 6.36 to 6.01 during the same period.
Good numbers don’t lie – President Kagame
While officiating at the launch of the Survey, President Paul Kagame commended the resilience of Rwandans in the last two decade which resulted in the sustained progress. He encouraged them to stay the course and never take anything for granted.
“We look forward to continuing this journey, in collaboration with all our partners. The progress we continue to make demonstrates that we have what it takes to bring about the transformation of our country and our region. Today’s survey results confirm the stories we hear directly from Rwandans of all walks of live around the country.”
The President further stressed that policy-making based on evidence is what is earning Rwanda results and challenged leaders in different decision-making positions to not let Rwandans endure preventable difficulties:
“We can’t afford to see a big part of our population stunted when we have the means to prevent it. The only fitting response to remaining challenges is to get back to work and speed up progress towards the Rwanda we want and deserve. Good numbers, like good people, don’t lie. But we still have to keep improving.”
Speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete pointed out that Rwanda has repeated a successful development ‘balance’ of: growth, poverty reduction and reduction in inequality in a space of three years due to the sustaining of an ecosystem of pro-poor policies.
“We have broadly met the MDGs (poverty, education, gender equality, water and sanitation, maternal and children health in terms of mortality) and on track vis-à-vis EDPR2 and vision 2020. At this rate of poverty reduction, we are likely to eradicate extreme poverty by 2020,” Minister Gatete said.
Rwanda’s economy has been growing steadily at about 8% since 2001 with GDP per capita more than tripling from US$ 211 in 2001 to US$ 718 in 2014. Food crop production growth was more than twice that of population growth between 2007 and 2014.
The sustained poverty reduction drive is a result of government efforts in inclusive and pro-poor development programmes like: social protection through programmes such as VUP Umurenge, Girinka; universal access to education, access to health care, electricity, water, sanitation, job creation and improving agriculture productivity.
The results of the survey will be used to make decision on how to further reduce poverty.