Overview

Rwanda is a low-income, food-deficit and least developed country, and ranks 167 (out of 187 countries) on the 2013 UNDP Human Development Report. Rwanda has one of the highest population densities in Africa, with 416 people per square kilometre. Its population increases at an annual rate of 2.6 percent and the total population stands at 11.2 million. Rwanda has a limited natural resource base; the main sector is agriculture, which contributes to over 33 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP) and generates 80 percent of total export revenue.
Agricultural transformation has been identified as the main pillar for achieving economic development and food security. Rwanda plans to attain a per capita income of USD 1,240 by the year 2020 from the current level of USD 644. Since the 1994 genocide and the following total collapse of Rwanda's civil society, economy and social services, the Government has embarked on rebuilding the country and improving quality of life. Good governance, productive and market-oriented agriculture, and regional and international economic integration are three of the six pillars of the Rwanda Vision 2020. Rwanda was also the first country to sign the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) compact and to secure funding, thus confirming malnutrition and food insecurity as one of the Government's key priorities.
Despite its impressive economic recovery, with an annual GDP growth of 7.2 percent since 2010, household food insecurity continues to be a major challenge. According to the Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA-December 2012) and the most recent Nutrition Survey (2012), the prevalence of chronic malnutrition among children under five years of age is still high at 43 percent despite a significant improvement from 52 percent in 2009. The northern and western areas of the country, bordering Lake Kivu and along the Congo Nile Crest, are the most affected areas, with rates of stunting at over 60 percent.
Life expectancy in Rwanda is 55.7 years and households headed by women or orphans account for 36 percent of the population. Rwanda is currently home to over 72,000 refugees, mainly from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, hosted in four camps and one transit centre. Security in the region remains precarious, particularly in eastern DRC, thus reducing the prospects of repatriation of the refugees in the near future.
Rwanda signed a cessation clause in 2009 to end the refugee status of around 70,000 Rwandans still living as refugees and asylum seekers in the neighbouring countries, including DRC, Malawi, Uganda, and other African countries.