Making progress towards food security: evidence from an intervention in three rural districts of Rwanda.

Public Health Nutr 2016 May 6;19(7):1296-304. Epub 2015 Aug 6.

1Partners In Health/Inshuti Mu Buzima,PO Box 3432,Kigali,Rwanda.

Objective: Determining interventions to address food insecurity and poverty, as well as setting targets to be achieved in a specific time period have been a persistent challenge for development practitioners and decision makers. The present study aimed to assess the changes in food access and consumption at the household level after one-year implementation of an integrated food security intervention in three rural districts of Rwanda.

Design: A before-and-after intervention study comparing Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) scores and household Food Consumption Scores (FCS) at baseline and after one year of programme implementation.

Setting: Three rural districts of Rwanda (Kayonza, Kirehe and Burera) where the Partners In Health Food Security and Livelihoods Program (FSLP) has been implemented since July 2013.

Subjects: All 600 households enrolled in the FSLP were included in the study.

Results: There were significant improvements (P<0·001) in HFIAS and FCS. The median decrease in HFIAS was 8 units (interquartile range (IQR) -13·0, -3·0) and the median increase for FCS was 4·5 units (IQR -6·0, 18·0). Severe food insecurity decreased from 78% to 49%, while acceptable food consumption improved from 48% to 64%. The change in HFIAS was significantly higher (P=0·019) for the poorest households.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that an integrated programme, implemented in a setting of extreme poverty, was associated with considerable improvements towards household food security. Other government and non-government organizations' projects should consider a similar holistic approach when designing structural interventions to address food insecurity and extreme poverty.

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Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980015002207DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4825097PMC
May 2016
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