Cordaid Rwanda works in the fields of health care, food and income, private sector development and resilience. The Rwanda office used to be run by Dutch INGO ICCO. In January 2021, ICCO and Cordaid became one organisation, continuing the activities under the name of Cordaid. By joining forces, ICCO brought 50 years of experience in food security, private sector development and resilience-building to the new organisation.
Across Rwanda, Cordaid works with both the government and companies to give business owners access to microfinance, further develop the private sector and improve food security.
In the western and southern provinces, we also support financial institutions by developing innovative, efficient and affordable digital credit platforms to support microfinance institutions in implementing an affordable and effective loan management system.
In the eastern part of the country, Cordaid is implementing a climate adaptation programme to promote community-led strategies for building climate-resilient ecosystems.
With a total population of 12.9 million and an annual population growth rate of 2.4%, Rwanda is one of the most densely populated countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite a significant record of achievements in reducing poverty, advancing gender equality, agriculture, and education, 41% of the population is estimated to be undernourished
Agriculture is the main engine for the country’s economic growth. However, a lack of access to financial services for smallholders limits the growth of the agricultural sector. In Rwanda, only 4.2% of smallholders practice contract farming and low mechanisation of the agriculture sector has contributed to post-harvest losses of 19.7%
Women constitute 52% of Rwanda’s rural population and are a major target for interventions and programmes by the government and development partners to reduce poverty and food insecurity. This includes stimulating productivity, post-harvest handling, and creating functional food commodity markets.
Cordaid in Rwanda
Food and nutrition security
Our projects aim to strengthen households to generate more income from farming. Farmers are supported to increase the production of quality food to meet subsistence needs.
Support Farmer Saving Groups and Linkage to Financial Institutions (SF&LF) is a 2-year project that empowers 75 producer organisations, small- and medium-sized enterprises and other service providers to effectively support 45,000 households. They gain better access to markets, financial services, and other inputs through enhanced and diversified production methodologies.
Through economic empowerment, we seek to eradicate poverty and improve food security by facilitating the establishment of viable small-farm economies.
In our Strengthening African Rural Smallholders (STARS) project, 90,000 smallholder farmers adopted improved value chains and accessed key financial instruments. Furthermore, we helped 15,000 youth to establish viable small- and medium-sized enterprises and cooperatives.
Relief, development and rehabilitation
We focus on interventions that support communities to integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation, so they are better prepared for disasters and emergencies.
The Transforming Eastern Province through Adaptation (TREPA) project facilitates the recovery and conservation of degraded natural habitats in areas affected by climate change in eastern Rwanda. The project enables 600,000 vulnerable women and youth to adjust to the effects of climate change, reduce the risks of natural disasters, generate income, and contribute to a flourishing community.
Through partnerships with key private sector players, we seek to strengthen the adoption of digital solutions as more reliable, and sustainable frameworks for systems strengthening in the agriculture sector.
In partnership with Simbuka, we were able to digitise our Agriculture Credit Assessment Tool (A-CAT) by integrating it into Simbuka’s loan origination software. The application is to be piloted in three MFIs namely Inkunga, Clecam Ejoheza and Umutanguha. Inkunga has adopted the tool with the objective to improve the quality of loan appraisals and boost disbursements for agriculture projects.
Partners and donors
In Rwanda, Cordaid works with both national and international partners, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, the Rwanda Government Board, the private sector, microfinance institutions, cooperatives, commercial banks, and research institutions.
We also partner with key networks such as BEAM to support strategies that create opportunities for vulnerable populations, especially women, to participate in markets and improve their quality of life.