Card maker Rachel, 31, poses with her favourite card, Rwanda. Oxfam stocks ethical and sustainable products made by poor and disadvantaged people around the world as part of its Sourced By Oxfam range. Credit: Jacques Nkinzingabo/Oxfam

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Despite a devastating genocide in 1994 that killed thousands of people and displaced many more, Rwanda has been on a steady track of social and economic development. In 2010, the country was named the “world’s top reformer” in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report. In spite of this impressive growth, the country still struggles with high poverty levels, particularly for rural communities. Available data suggest that almost 40% of Rwandans still live on less than two US dollars a day and the country ranked 158 out of 188 in the 2017 Human Development Index.

Our work in Rwanda

Since the 1960s, Oxfam has been working to support the country's developments efforts through implementing humanitarian response, conflict management, and sustainable livelihoods projects. Our core mission in Rwanda remains that of ensuring that poor women, men, and youth enjoy equal rights and benefit from fair and inclusive development.

Humanitarian response and resilience
The commitment to be the first respondent to humanitarian suffering – the most extreme form of poverty – goes to the core of Oxfam’s values as an organization. As Burundi is also home to thousands of Burundian refugees, we are also responding to this crisis through the supply of clean water, sanitation, and hygiene promotion services in the Mahama refugees’ camp. In addition, we contribute to building people's resilience to the effects of climate change and strengthen systems that will help them withstand future shocks.   

Sustained livelihoods, improved income
Our sustainable livelihoods program aims to improve income and employment, especially for poor women, men, and youth. This is our flagship program in the country, working through market systems to enable farmers’ access to economic opportunities as well as advocate for better policies that will boost agriculture and trade.

We support farmers involved in various horticulture value chains and their enterprises to increase productivity, access to finance and financial literacy, and contribute to the social benefits of their communities. Given the importance of agricultural activities in the lives of poor communities in the rural areas, we are working on improving income and employment opportunities for poor men and women and empower them to play a more central role in inclusive development.

Gender Justice
Our programs mainstream gender as a cross-cutting issue and include interventions addressing gaps and issues related to gender-based violence, supporting the legal framework for policies formulation related to sexual reproductive health as well as tackling harmful social norms which promote gender inequalities. Our gender justice programming aims at achieving women's economic empowerment and a greater involvement at decision making at all levels.

Participatory governance
In Rwanda, our vision is to see citizens are more central and effective in shaping and making government more accountable and responsive. Oxfam is delivering a combination of program interventions and advocacy activities supporting the improvement of justice services, promoting active citizenship and responsive leadership.