By David Himbara
The latest World Bank’s Rwanda Economic Update exposes President Paul Kagame — 38 percent of Rwandan children suffer chronic malnutrition. The silent killer known as child malnutrition is still rife in Kagame’s Rwanda. This is in sharp contrast to Kagame’s loud proclamation that Rwanda is Africa’s developmental success story. His other favorite line is that Rwanda is the “fastest growing economy in Africa.”
According to the Rwanda Economic Update dated June 2018:
”chronic although malnutrition or stunting (Kugwingira), which signals that children are growing too slowly, has declined from about 50 percent (2005) to 38percent (2014/2015) of children under 5, is still a major outlier. Stunting tends to be an invisible problem in Rwanda, depriving children of their right to grow, thrive, and reach their full potential. Stunting delays cognitive development and lowers educational attainment and lifetime earnings. Children who are stunted are trapped early in a vicious cycle of poverty…Stunting also deprives the economy of quality human capital that is critical to attaining Rwanda’s aspiration to become a middle- income country.”
On the occasion of signing the US$55 Million support to Rwanda to address this crisis, the World Bank had the following to say in February 2018:
“Stunting is a social injustice that hides in plain sight. In Rwanda, it is estimated that undernutrition is the underlying cause of 22 percent of all child mortality, 13 percent of primary school repetition, and lower adult wages leading to the annual loss of 11.5 percent of GDP.”
So, Kagame, what kind of development success is this — why are 38 percent of Rwandan children suffering from malnutrition? Shame!