Rwanda is a poor, rural, landlocked country, which is the most densely populated in Africa, making life for many a continual struggle for resources. It continues to suffer from the effects of the 1994 Genocide, when 800,000 people were killed within three months. Rwanda's fragile economic base was destroyed, severely impoverishing the population, particularly women. A majority (60%) still live below the poverty line of 250 Rwandan francs per day (about $0.43).
There are over 800,000 orphans and over 100,000 children living in child-headed-households, in this country where over half the population are children.
Since 2000 the infant and maternal mortality rates have increased, the former of which is currently 66 deaths per 1,000 live births and life expectancy is 57 years. Malaria, diarrhoea, HIV/AIDS and respiratory infections are the primary causes of death among children. Street living and working children in particular suffer in Rwanda as the government and communities have little understanding of their needs or as to why they are on the streets. Rather than work to help children and families find mutual understanding, they round up the children and force them to stay in unsuitable camps.
WJR is supporting the Rwandan community due to the Jewish community’s empathy from enduring similar suffering in the Holocaust.
Population = 11,055,976
Life expectancy at birth = 57 years
Popualtion below poverty line = 60%
GDP per capita = $1,100
Inflation rate = 6.4%