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Cablegate: Kitchen Gardens Increase Food Security Of

VZCZCXRO7908
PP RUEHGI RUEHRN
DE RUEHLGB #0786 3290618
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 250618Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY KIGALI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6446
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP 0109
RUZEFAA/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE

UNCLAS KIGALI 000786

SIPDIS

PRM/AFR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF PREL EAID CG RW
SUBJECT: KITCHEN GARDENS INCREASE FOOD SECURITY OF
CONGOLESE REFUGEES

1. (U) SUMMARY: American Refugee Committee (ARC) has
implemented a project to improve food production by and for
vulnerable families in the Kiziba refugee camp in western
Rwanda, using grant funds from the Bureau of Population,
Refugees and Migration's 2009 Julia Taft Fund for Refugees.
On November 17, Emboffs visited the camp to view the project,
which appears set to achieve good results. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) ARC received a grant of approximately $4,500 from
PRM's 2009 Julia Taft Fund for Refugees, formerly "The
Ambassador's Fund," to improve food production in the Kiziba
refugee camp in western Rwanda. (Note: The Fund is meant to
cover a one-time, low-cost gap in refugee protection and
assistance and not a long-term program. End Note.) Emboffs
visited the camp November 17 to view the project. Kiziba camp
is well-established, with approximately 18,000 Congolese
refugees, many of whom have been in the camp for over ten
years. Lack of space and available land limit the
possibilities for large-scale agriculture and animal rearing.
Although ARC does not implement the health services in Kiziba
camp, a recent survey showed high rates of malnutrition and
stunting, prompting it to apply for a grant through the Taft
Fund.

3. (U) The objectives of the project were to increase food
production through kitchen gardens and small animal rearing,
reduce negative coping mechanisms such as vandalism and
selling of food rations, and increase the self-esteem of
vulnerable refugees. The grant provided initial agricultural
and animal rearing inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, tools,
and baby chickens and rabbits. Additionally, ARC used grant
money to construct poultry and rabbit houses and construct
wire fences around kitchen gardens. ARC organized the
beneficiaries into small income generating groups and divided
available land into smaller plots for each group. (Note:
Groups planted kitchen gardens on land that was formerly used
for latrines after agricultural specialists deemed it safe.
End Note.) Each garden group has one representative in the
small animal rearing cooperative.

4. (U) The project provides direct benefits to 327 refugees,
and indirect benefits to an additional 1,308 family members.
Each group is responsible for the care, maintenance, and
security of the gardens and animal houses. Groups plan to
consume some of the crops and animal products and sell any
surplus to other refugees in the camp or the surrounding
local population. Because ARC has just finished implementing
the project, it is not yet possible to gauge its impact on
nutrition or increased food production; however, the gardens
and animal houses appeared well-constructed and productive.
One beneficiary already eats and sells eggs from the animal
rearing project, improving both her and her family's
nutritional status and increasing her income.

5. (U) COMMENT: As in Rwanda's other two refugee camps,
refugees in Kiziba expressed a desire to return to eastern
Congo, but not until there is peace and security. Projects
like this provide immediate benefits such as increased income
and improved nutrition, and also provide refugees with skills
they will be able to use once they return to Congo.
Additionally, employing men and women in productive work
helps address the problem of domestic violence, which is
exacerbated by men lacking meaningful employment. END
COMMENT.
SYMINGTON

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