Rwanda’s Battle Against COVID-19

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KIGALI, Rwanda — Rwanda has a population of approximately 12.3 million people, 63% of whom are living in extreme poverty. Since COVID-19 has swept through Rwanda, it has impacted the country’s economy and potential economic growth. However, Rwanda’s battle against COVID-19 is not a solitary one. Many humanitarian organizations are working together to support Rwanda amid this unprecedented crisis and help keep vulnerable groups protected from the virus.

The Helping Hands

Rwanda continues to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and find new ways to combat the virus. Still, COVID-19 imposed many challenges for organizations trying to give support to Rwanda. Social distancing measures have limited organizations, such as the U.N. Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), from fully progressing their plans to reduce poverty in Rwanda. UNCDF has been leading several poverty reduction programs since 2017. Now, UNCDF is aiming to find ways to not only reduce poverty but to also maintain the spread of COVID-19 in Rwanda.

Organizations such as the UNCDF continue to search for processes that will aid in its goal of reducing poverty and preventing the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, the World Bank Group has provided $14.25 million in immediate funding to aid Rwanda’s response to the global pandemic. A new operation, called Rwanda COVID-19 Emergency Response, is designed to support the government in detecting, preventing and responding to COVID-19 cases. This project will aid Rwanda in strengthening healthcare systems and public health preparedness plans.

The Rwandan Effort

Rwanda has taken several measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The public health response has been handling COVID-19 robustly and rapidly, trying to minimize exposure and maximize all possible efforts. Rwanda’s battle against COVID-19 has affected many Rwandans living in poverty. However, the government has been able to provide food relief to approximately 20,000 households. Since the global pandemic has dismantled the process and production of agriculture to a large extent, families have faced significant barriers in trying to support their families with food while staying safe.

Rwanda has also implemented an Economic Recovery Plan that includes extensive social protection measures. Curfews are still in place, the government has banned all social gatherings of more than five people and anyone out in public must wear a mask. The government also continues to use technological advances to help minimize any contact between patients and healthcare workers, aiming to provide contactless healthcare services. Rwanda’s approach to tackling COVID-19 and implementing the sudden lockdown has helped Rwanda’s battle against COVID-19.

How Rwanda is Moving Forward

Rwanda has been praised as one of the countries that have handled the global pandemic swiftly and appropriately. With the strict, government-implemented measures, aid in supplies and immediate funding by humanitarian organizations, Rwanda is working fast to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect high-risk groups. Countries worldwide should look to Rwanda on how to address COVID-19 cases as Rwanda has been handling the global pandemic with strategic measures. It is keeping the citizens in Rwanda as safe as possible.

– Kendra Anderson
Photo:  Flickr

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