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Making progress towards food security: evidence from an intervention in three rural districts of Rwanda

  • Vincent Nsabuwera (a1), Bethany Hedt-Gauthier (a1) (a2), Mohammed Khogali (a3), Mary Edginton (a4) (a5), Sven G Hinderaker (a6), Marie Paul Nisingizwe (a1), Jean de Dieu Tihabyona (a7), Benoit Sikubwabo (a8), Samuel Sembagare (a9), Antoinette Habinshuti (a1) and Peter Drobac (a1) (a2) (a10)...

Abstract

Objective

Determining interventions to address food insecurity and poverty, as well as setting targets to be achieved in a specific time period have been a persistent challenge for development practitioners and decision makers. The present study aimed to assess the changes in food access and consumption at the household level after one-year implementation of an integrated food security intervention in three rural districts of Rwanda.

Design

A before-and-after intervention study comparing Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) scores and household Food Consumption Scores (FCS) at baseline and after one year of programme implementation.

Setting

Three rural districts of Rwanda (Kayonza, Kirehe and Burera) where the Partners In Health Food Security and Livelihoods Program (FSLP) has been implemented since July 2013.

Subjects

All 600 households enrolled in the FSLP were included in the study.

Results

There were significant improvements (P<0·001) in HFIAS and FCS. The median decrease in HFIAS was 8 units (interquartile range (IQR) −13·0, −3·0) and the median increase for FCS was 4·5 units (IQR −6·0, 18·0). Severe food insecurity decreased from 78 % to 49 %, while acceptable food consumption improved from 48 % to 64 %. The change in HFIAS was significantly higher (P=0·019) for the poorest households.

Conclusions

Our study demonstrated that an integrated programme, implemented in a setting of extreme poverty, was associated with considerable improvements towards household food security. Other government and non-government organizations’ projects should consider a similar holistic approach when designing structural interventions to address food insecurity and extreme poverty.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Email vinsabu@gmail.com

References

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