Rwanda Unicef

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has completed the construction of permanent handwashing facilities in 54 health centres in Rubavu, Rusizi, Karongi, Gatsibo, and Nyagatare districts.

The centres, as noted in UNICEF’s recent Rwanda Humanitarian Situation Report, provide health services to around 1,242,000 people.

UNICEF also noted that 85,480 children in schools and communities were reached with hygiene promotion.

The UN agency reported that 2,000,000 children were in need of humanitarian assistance, 4,000,000 people and 146,831 Refugees also needed humanitarian assistance.

Reporting period for the UNICEF report was from 01 January, 2021, to 30 June, 2021.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) access is very critical in surmounting the Covid-19 pandemic and preventing several other diseases.

A sharp uptick in Covid-19 cases and an influx into Rwanda of a few thousands people fleeing the Nyiragongo volcanic eruption in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has exacerbated the humanitarian situation in Rwanda.

Data from the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) shows that Rwanda was already hosting 139,501 refugees, mainly from the DRC and Burundi (65,037).

‘To reduce wastage of water and the time spent by children to wash their hands in 16 schools in Nyagatare district, UNICEF completed the construction of permanent group handwashing facilities that are low-cost and durable’, the report said.

‘The support in handwashing facilities enabled 25,480 schoolchildren (12,660 boys and 12,820 girls) and 450 teachers and staff (219 males and 231 females) to easily wash their hands with water and soap as part of [Covid-19] preventive measures.

‘As part of the blueprint for joint action with UNHCR, UNICEF, in partnership with WaterAid Rwanda, supported the construction of permanent group handwashing facilities in 60 schools in Gihembe, Nyabiheke, and Mahama refugee camp catchment areas in the districts of Gicumbi, Gatsibo and Kirehe, respectively. These handwashing facilities will benefit around 60,000 school students (29,400 girls and 30,600 boys)’.

UNICEF also reported that it has secured additional funding to support an additional 23 health centres in Rusizi, Karongi, and Rubavu districts with handwashing facilities.

According to Water for People, an international non-profit, rural access to basic water services in the country is at 53 percent, while Data from UNICEF shows that only five percent of households in Rwanda have a place for family members to wash their hands with soap.

UNICEF, according to the report, has raised U.S.$1.4 million, representing 24 percent of the six million dollars needed to continue delivering life-saving services to refugees, children and families in Rwanda.

The UN entity called for additional funding to enable it to maintain and scale up its humanitarian action.

Source: UNICEF

Photo source: UNICEF

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