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Rwanda Distributes Food Under Coronavirus Lockdown

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Rwandans will not stay indoors on empty stomachs during the ongoing lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the deadly Coronavirus epidemic.

The Government of Rwanda on Saturday started distributing essentials first to the most vulnerable citizens across the country, hours after President Kagame announced the support program in a televised state of the nation address.

Sector pick-up trucks were seen in different sectors loaded with basic essentials including; maize flour, beans, cooking oil, rice, salt, and sugar and soap.

All items are locally produced. Rations will be issued based on the number of people in a household.

Sector workers used weighing scales to ensure equal packages for every beneficiary.

With environmental protection as a major principle to adhere to, all essentials were packaged in paper envelopes before handing them to beneficiaries.

Through Ubudehe program all Rwandan households are categorized to ensure their economic status.

It is very simple for every sector to know poorest families in category 1. Other categories include 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

However, last year the government launched an exercise to review the entire Ubudehe social stratification for all Rwandans because in the past, some citizens complained against being placed in wrong categories.

Every three years, Ubudehe categories are updated in order to identify the best practices, challenges and gaps and make necessary changes to the system

Understanding The categories

Rwanda’s total population is 12million citizens.

According to the Ministry of Local Government and Social Affairs, categorization is composed of four levels.

Category One – there are 1.5million Rwandans in the first category equivalent to 16% of the total population. (These are people with no means to own or rent homes of their own and can hardly put food on the table.)

For Category Two, there are 3.1 million people, accounting for 29.8% of the population. (These have part time small jobs and either own cheap houses or are able to pay rent.)

Category Three is composed of 5.8 million Rwandans. (These are farmers, professionals, and business owners. They don’t need government for survival)

Category four is made up of the rich especially public servants from the level of Director General and over and large business owners.

Meawhile, since the exercise began, several donations are trickling in from different supporters. For example Simba Supermarket donated 10,000kg of spaghetti to the City of Kigali.

Also, Africa Improved Foods the Manufacturer of highly nutritious cereal based foods have donated a truck filled with flour to support this initiative within Kigali.

“It is in times like these that we need to lend a helping hand. In partnership with Local Government Ministry , we have donated Nootri porridge flours to support those affected by the current situation caused the Covid-19 outbreak in the City of Kigali,” Africa Improved foods said.

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