Rwanda: A Look at the Stunting Prevention and Reduction Project

In 2018, Rwanda and the World Bank launched the Stunting Prevention and Reduction Project (SPRP) to speed up the government’s efforts to reduce the national stunting rate to 19 per cent in 2024.

The $55 million (then approx. Rwf46bn) project contributed to the reduction in the stunting rate among children under five years of age, with a focus on those under two, in 13 districts with the highest stunting rates as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women. The project will run until 2025.

The target districts are: Nyabihu, Ngororero, Karongi, Rubavu, Rutsiro, Rusizi, Nyamagabe, Huye, Nyaruguru, Ruhango, Gakenke, Kayonza and Bugesera.

It supported community-based approaches, improved the delivery of high-impact nutrition and health interventions, incentivized frontline community health workers and health personnel, strengthened accountability mechanisms, and promoted behaviour-change approaches.

The interventions supported by the SPRP include the distribution of fortified cereal flour known as Shisha Kibondo, which is given to expectant and breastfeeding women from the low-income categories to complement their diet.

There is also the Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme that aims to ensure proper breastfeeding until a child is two years old, and feeding a balanced diet until they are five years old, among other things, to prepare children for primary school.

Apart from preschool services offered at ECD centres, children are fed eggs, milk and food supplements, such as porridge.