The Republic of Rwanda, a country of 11 million people in just over 26,000 km², sits in east and central Africa. The three year civil war and subsequent genocide of 1994 had a devastating impact on Rwanda’s social and economic fabric. Large-scale loss of life, mass displacement and economic turmoil left a profound legacy and regional conflict dynamics still strongly influence Rwanda today.
However, the country is moving beyond its tragic past and has achieved impressive growth and stability. Progress against education, health and gender millennium development goals has been made and in 2010 Rwanda was named the “world’s top reformer” in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report. Yet massive challenges remain with nearly half the population still living in poverty and needing support to create work in both rural and urban areas.
Oxfam’s work in Rwanda
Oxfam has been engaged in Rwanda since the 1960s and physically present since 1982, delivering humanitarian response, water and sanitation, conflict management and sustainable livelihoods projects.
Today, Oxfam acts as a catalyst and facilitator, bringing people together to influence how change happens and ensure it benefits the poorest and most vulnerable. Working with civil society, private sector and government bodies, we create partnerships, build capacity and facilitate access to skills, knowledge and technical expertise.
Our partners include farmers’ associations, civil society, private sector enterprises, national organizations, women’s groups, research centers, government bodies and finance institutions. We work closely with all of these groups to bring about long-term changes to the lives of people living in poverty.
Our work focuses on sustainable livelihoods and participatory governance. Our aim is to ensure the poorest and most vulnerable directly benefit from development and can influence the decisions which affect their own lives, leading to a more stable and sustainably peaceful Rwanda. We passionately believe in supporting women’s empowerment and equality between men and women.