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Rwanda releases the fifth Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey

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The Minister of Finance, Uzziel Ndagijimana (left) with the Director General of CEO of NISR

Kigali: The 2016/17 Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey (EICVS) is the 5th in a series of household surveys that began in 2000/01, implemented by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) in collaboration and support from various stakeholders.

 

Participants at the launch

The main objective of the survey is to provide updated information used to monitor and evaluate progress on poverty reduction. It also provides complementary socio-economic information that facilitates understanding changes in households living conditions.

NISR has finalized the standard analysis process of poverty measurement that sets out the main facts related to poverty and highlights other trend dimensions of living conditions.

Key findings: According to EICVS survey results:

1. The proportion of Rwandans living in poverty fell from 39.1% of the population in 2013/14 to 38.2% in 2016/17;

2. During the same period, extreme poverty went from 16.3% in 2013/14 to 16.0% in 2016/17;

3.Inequality  reduced  as well with  the Gini coefficient  dropping from  0.447 in  2013/14  to 0.429  in  2016/17.

Other Social Economic Indicators:

Wellbeing has many other dimensions in addition to poverty as measured in consumption terms. Below are some highlights of other measures of wellbeing that complement and provide a holistic understanding of poverty and living conditions.

.The proportion  of  people  covered  by health  insurance  rose  by  four  percentage points; from 70% in 2013/14 to 73.9% in 2016/17;

.The proportion of households with electricity for lighting either from the national grid or from solar panels increased from 21.5% in 2013/14 to 34.4% in 2016/17;

.Percentage of household owning Mobile Phone also continued to rise, from 63.6% in 2013/14 to 66.9% in 2016/17;

.Percentage of households owning radios increased substantially in 2017 relative to 2014 (59.8% vs. 73.8%);

.Internet access at home rose from 9.3% in 2014 to 17.2% by 2017;

.The proportion of households using cement as their flooring material also increased from 21.1% in EICV4 to 25.8% in EICVS;

.The use of metal sheets as roofing material has also improved across the country, with 67.3% of households using this type of roofing in 2016/17 compared to 61.1% in EICV4.

Challenges that slowed poverty reduction:

EICVS that spanned from October 2016 to October 2017 coincided with challenging times. During this period, Rwanda experienced shocks among which were:

i.Drought of 2016 season B that affected crop production, and resulted into shortages in food supply and high increase in food prices in 2017. This in turn reduced the purchasing power, and overall consumption of the population. The resultant effect is low poverty reduction. Rwanda was not the only country affected by the drought, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa were also affected during the same period;

ii.The poor  output in agriculture  also had  a negative  effect on  GDP growth, the economy did not grow well during the fiscal year  2016-2017 (July 2016 - June 2017), which coincides with the survey period. In fact GDP growth was at its minimum for the last 10 years in fiscal basis.

Conclusion:

Overall, EICVS results allow us to have a comprehensive understanding of changes in living conditions of Rwandans including poverty since 2014.

From the results, we see that most livelihood dimensions continue to improve; from demographics, housing conditions, economic activity, access to electricity and technology among others. Some few but key livelihood dimensions like education are stagnating.

However, a substantial number of Rwandan households experienced shocks (drought, increased food prices, and others) before and during the survey period.

Poverty and extreme poverty did not reduce significantly.

Policy Perspectives:

•There is need to put in place mechanisms that mitigate potential shocks specifically economic and those related to climate change

•There is also need to strengthen social protection safety nets that support households affected by shocks.(End)

 

 

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