Rwanda releases Poverty Profile Report 2016/17

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The Government of Rwanda needs accurate and up-to-date information in order to monitor and evaluate progress on poverty reduction.

The policies for addressing poverty, and the goals for poverty reduction, are set out in the First National Strategy for Transformation (NST1), the Vision 2020 and Vision 2050 strategies, and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 2016/17 Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey (EICV5) is the fifth in a series that began in 2000/01, and is now undertaken every three years. Each new round of the survey is accompanied by a series of reports, some focusing on areas such as education or health, and others on broader themes.

All the reports draw on the detailed information collected from a sample of thousands of households, covering such measures as consumption spending, employment, income, health, education, housing, and the ways that household responds to shocks.

The EICV5 survey shows that 38.2% of the population was poor in 2016/17, as compared to 39.1% as measured by the EICV4 survey of 2013/14.

During the same period, extreme poverty went from 16.3% to 16.0%.

“This is modest progress compared to previous survey rounds and this report explains the
reasons, including the drought of 2016/2017” Said Rwanda’s Finance Minister Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana.

However, progress has been faster in some of the nonmonetary dimensions of well-being, including access to electricity, and improved sources of water and sanitation. But these are only a few of the things that are presented in this report.

Executive Summary

The data in this report come from the fifth Integrated Living conditions survey (EICV5), which interviewed 14,580 households, representing 64,314 people, throughout the country between late October 2016 and early October 2017.

The data collected covered a wide range of economic and socio-demographic variables.

The focus of the report is on the measurement of poverty, and on the variables that are associated with poverty, which are presented in the form of a poverty profile. The measure of wellbeing used here, and in previous studies of poverty in Rwanda, is real consumption per adult equivalent.

For each household, total consumption is obtained by adding up the amounts spent on a large range of items, including the value of goods produced and consumed at
home.

The total household consumption is then divided by the number of adult equivalents – adults aged 20-39 get a weight of 1, children under one year old are given a weight of 0.41, and so on – to arrive at a measure of consumption per adult equivalent.

This measure is then adjusted for regional and monthly differences in prices, and expressed in the prices of January 2014. The headcount poverty rates are obtained by comparing real
consumption per adult equivalent to the poverty line (RWF 159,375 per year) or the extreme poverty line (RWF105,064).

The proportion of people who were poor in 2016/17 was 38.2%, compared
to 39.1% in 2013/14. The reduction in the poverty between these two time periods was not statistically significant.

The poverty gap rate, which measures the gap between people’s spending and the poverty line, also howed a non-significant change to 11.7 in 2016/17, from 12.0 in 2013/14.

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