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Tue, 11 Jun 2019 12:16 - Updated Tue, 11 Jun 2019 12:15

Rwanda to scale up access to early childhood development services to 45 pct by 2024: official

KIGALI -- Rwanda targets to increase access to early childhood development services such as adequate nutrition, early learning, and exposure to adequate hygiene and sanitation from 13 percent currently to 45 percent by 2024, Rwandan Minister of Gender and Family Promotion Soline Nyirahabimana said on Tuesday.

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The period between 0 to 6 years of age is critical because lifetime behavior patterns are formed during early years when brain development is most active, Nyirahabimana said when opening the International Conference on Early Childhood Development in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda.

Investments in the physical, mental, and emotional development of children from before birth until they enter primary school are critical for the future productivity of individuals and for the economic competitiveness of nations.

Investing in the early years is one of the smartest investments a country can make to break the cycle of poverty later in life, she said.

In Rwanda, 38 percent of children are stunted, which hinder their future productivity and the productivity of our nation, she said.

The two-day conference under the theme -- "investing in early years for optimum human capital development" -- attracted about 300 delegates from the public sector, development partners, academia and civil society from Rwanda and abroad.

It aims at strengthening exchange of ideas and expertise as well as strengthening partnerships for early childhood development,XINHUA.

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