The UN World Food Programme (WFP), in partnership with the Rwandan Ministry of Local Government, is running 39 projects in the country for people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, WFP officials told IRIN on Thursday.
WFP provides food for people affected by HIV/AIDS who are undergoing vocational and basic life skills training in centres across the country. The projects also provide training in management of income-generating activities as well as peer support and counselling programmes.
Government officials and the WFP regional director, Holdbrook Arthur, who is currently on a visit to Rwanda, toured on Thursday one such project in Masaka, 20 km east of the capital, Kigali.
The Masaka project has 56 people running a hardware shop and making soap from avocado and palm oil. Proceeds from the business are deposited at a local health centre that provides free medical care to the 56 and members of their families.
Country Representative David Stevenson said WFP's food aid was to strengthen the people's coping mechanism and to promote family and community care of people affected by HIV/AIDS.
"Food assistance is essential in the fight against HIV/AIDS," Stevenson said. "Ensuring that sufferers who live in hunger-afflicted areas receive food assistance is one of WFP's main priorities."
He added that food aid could prolong the life of people living with AIDS and hence allow them to continue earning an income and feeding their families.
Arthur's visit to Masaka was part of a series of field visits to assess the food security situation and WFP activities in the country.
"By providing food-for-assets and food-for-training, which helps people acquire new skills and earn a better living, WFP can make a difference," Stevenson said. "This is how WFP can help people achieve self-reliance."
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
Help make quality journalism about crises possible
The New Humanitarian is an independent, non-profit newsroom founded in 1995. We deliver quality, reliable journalism about crises and big issues impacting the world today. Our reporting on humanitarian aid has uncovered sex scandals, scams, data breaches, corruption, and much more.
Our readers trust us to hold power in the multi-billion-dollar aid sector accountable and to amplify the voices of those impacted by crises. We’re on the ground, reporting from the front lines, to bring you the inside story.
We keep our journalism free – no paywalls – thanks to the support of donors and readers like you who believe we need more independent journalism in the world. Your contribution means we can continue delivering award-winning journalism about crises.