Concurrent with the programme launch, Rwandan families attended Maternal and Child Health Week activities by bringing their children to be weighed and measured. Health workers delivered essential micronutrient supplements to children while providing nutrition counselling and support to their parents.
The multi-sectoral ‘Three Projects, One programme’ approach responds to a call made in March 2017 by Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame. To translate Rwanda’s bold vision and make it a reality, experts from the Rwandan government worked with the World Bank, The Power of Nutrition, the Global Financing Facility (GFF), and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) to fast-track a highly focused, cost-effective programme based on domestic and global successes and best practices.
With this comprehensive plan, Rwanda is taking a decisive step toward fulfilling its ambitious commitment to significantly reduce the rate of stunting in target regions to 32% by 2024, thus boosting the country’s economic growth and its ability to compete on the global market. The large-scale initiative tackles stunting from different angles by targeting several underlying causes of this complex and multifaceted issue, such as inadequate maternal, infant and young child nutrition and care practices, poor feeding practices, insufficient access to health services, lack of social protection, and food insecurity.
As a result of the programme, the poorest and most vulnerable families in 13 target districts will benefit from early childhood nutrition and stimulation during the crucial 1,000 first days of a child’s life when stunting can be prevented. Investing in early childhood improves children’s cognitive development, boosts educational attainment, and improves productivity into adulthood.