Rwanda at a glance

Key socio-economic indicators

Political and economic context

Situation of Children

UNICEF Country Programme

Key achievements


UNICEF Country Programme

UNICEF Rwanda/2014/Muellenmeister
© UNICEF Rwanda/2014/Muellenmeister

The UNICEF Rwanda Country Programme is fully integrated with the One UN UNDAP, and is also focused on supporting the “Foundational Issues” of Rwanda’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II). UNICEF’s work takes an integrated approach across the continuum of a child’s life, from pregnancy through adolescence, and in the context of a strong and loving family environment. The current Country Programme cycle is from July 2013 to June 2018 to align with the Government of Rwanda’s fiscal year.

The programme has the five main components:

Child Survival and Development (CSD)

The Child Survival and Development programme supports the Government of Rwanda’s efforts across multiple sectors, including maternal, newborn and child health; nutrition; HIV and AIDS; and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). UNICEF contributes to sectors by strengthening policies, building the systems capacities, and changing behaviours, focusing on:

  • Developing and improving national- and district-level systems to coordinate, implement and monitor pro-nutrition, evidence-based interventions.
  • Strengthening health systems to ensure that young children, adolescents and women have equitable access to essential health services.
  • Increasing equitable access to safe water and improved sanitation and hygiene services in communities, schools and health centres throughout Rwanda.
  • Improving access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care services for children, adolescents, and women.

Child Protection (CP)

Efforts are dedicated supporting the Government to build and maintain a system that safeguards children from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect, and that mitigates major risks to children in both regular and emergency settings. Focus is on the following pillars:

  • Building and supporting strong coordination mechanisms among child protection partners
  • Ensuring availability of quality, decentralized, multi-sectoral child protection services
  • Strengthening capacities of CP service providers
  • Supporting the Government to generate and use child protection data to formulate policies.


UNICEF is working closely with the Government of Rwanda to implement its Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP), with a focus on three key areas:
• Increasing access to education for vulnerable groups;
• Quality of education;
• Increasing access to quality pre-primary education.
There is also a consistent focus on ensuring gender equity and inclusion in all efforts.
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Social Policy

Work in this area aims to ensure that children are prioritized during budget allocation processes so that their needs are adequately addressed, and that there is sufficient capacity to develop and implement policies that deliver quality services for children and their families. In partnership with the Government, UNICEF works to improve equity-focused programming in three critical areas:

  • Child-sensitive social protection
  • Child-friendly policies and budgeting
  • Applied research, evaluation and evidence generation, with a focus on reducing poverty and disparities among children.

Early Childhood Development and Family

The Early Childhood Development and Family (ECD&F) programme is based on the premise that “you cannot divide a child,” acknowledging that the needs of children must be addressed holistically. UNICEF therefore uses an integrated approach to ECD programming that combines interventions from multiple sectors. Programming focuses on:

  • Parenting education
  • Promotion of play-based learning
  • WASH, health, and nutrition
  • Cross-cutting efforts in social protection and child protection.



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