Press Release —Global September 18, 2020

Flood Victims Assisted by IOM, Food and Agriculture Organization in Rwanda

Flood Victims Assisted by IOM, Food and Agriculture Organization in Rwanda

Kigali – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is providing some 1,781 households with building materials to help in Rwanda’s recovery from devastating floods in April and May this year.

Leaving thousands displaced and in need of emergency shelter and agricultural assistance, heavy rainfall linked to a climate phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean Dipole, or commonly called the "Indian Niño,” uprooted thousands. Nearly 21,000 Rwandans – many women and children from the three districts of Nyabihu, Gakenke, Ngororero – were impacted. Many crops were destroyed.

IOM, in partnership with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), will now provide assistance through a new project called Provision of Emergency Shelter and Agriculture Support to Communities Affected by Floods and Landslides in Rwanda.
Many of the affected families had been temporarily relocated to schools or relatives’ homes. The socio-economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already dire situation as most Rwandans rely on agriculture and informal trading. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, informal trade is interrupted, leaving many people with little opportunity to find alternative livelihoods.

“IOM is committed to working with the Government and partners in providing rapid response to those affected by floods and landslides,” said Helene Fors, IOM Chief of Mission in Rwanda.

IOM is distributing iron sheets, nails, cement, and galvanized wire to let Rwandans rehabilitate houses as per Government specifications. This will enable families to return to their homes or to relocate to semi-permanent emergency shelters on safe land and alleviate overcrowding.

At the same time, FAO is providing approximately 2,900 households with agriculture tools (hoes, shovels, pickaxes and watering cans) and improved seeds (early varieties of maize and fortified beans). This will enable families to recover crops lost while also further contributing to their food and nutrition security at the household level.
“That’s the very reason why FAO is supportive of farmers to rebuild production systems and restore livelihoods,” explained Gualbert Gbehounou, the FAO Representative in Rwanda.

The assistance funds come from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005 as the United Nations global emergency response fund, CERF enables humanitarian responders to deliver life-saving assistance whenever and wherever crises strike. CERF availed a donation of USD 1 million to respond to floods and landslide in Rwanda.

“CERF financial support has come at the right time to support families most affected by floods and landslides early this year,” said Fodé Ndiaye, the UN Resident Coordinator. “I stand in unity and solidarity with families that lost their beloved ones and with those who lost their properties during the challenging situation of COVID-19. Together, we shall prevail.”

For more information please contact IOM Rwanda Programme Support Unit, Email: iomrwandapsu@iom.int