The Plurinational State of Bolivia faces major development challenges and remains one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Thirty-nine percent of the population live below the poverty line, and the level of undernourishment is the highest in South America at 15.9 percent.
Lack of income is the main cause of food insecurity in Bolivia, with 40 percent of the total population – 59 percent in rural areas, with peaks of 72 percent in the most food-insecure municipalities – unable to meet basic food needs. Much of the largely rural and indigenous population depends heavily on subsistence agriculture. During the lean seasons, people suffer food shortages while droughts or floods make agriculture an unreliable source of income.
Malnutrition affects 18 percent of Bolivian children under five years, with significant variations between urban and rural areas, where the prevalence of chronic malnutrition reaches 25.2 percent.
WFP has been present in Bolivia since 1963 and carries out its operations across three very different departments: Pando in the Amazon basin, Chuquisaca in the Andean valleys and Tarija in Chaco. Our work currently focuses on three major areas, identified in consultation with the Government: strengthening food and nutrition interventions, particularly for the most food-insecure populations; disaster-risk reduction, humanitarian assistance and climate-change adaptation; and promoting diversified food production, dietary diversity and marketing conditions favorable to small farmers.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Bolivia
Each year, WFP provides breakfast to 40,000 schoolchildren, complementing lunch distributed by the municipalities. WFP is gradually involving smallholder farmers in the school meals supply chain, and provides technical assistance to school boards, municipal authorities and farmers .
In communities where stunting in children under 5 reaches 45 percent or more, WFP complements the Government’s conditional cash transfer programme with blanket supplementary feeding for 4,000 pregnant and nursing women per year. Women attending health centers receive vegetable oil and fortified supplementary foods such as “Supercereal” as well as nutrition education.
WFP supports the development of productive assets to enhance livelihoods and supply local food-based safety net programmes, strengthening communities’ resilience by mitigating shocks and adapting to climate change by creating assets that protect communities’ livelihoods – such as water reservoirs, dykes, forestation, water harvesting infrastructure and terraces.
Disaster risk reduction
To support the National Strategy to Strengthen the Emergency Preparedness and Response System, WFP is providing the Government with technical assistance in emergency preparedness and response, including exploring the effects of climate change and other crises on food security.
Partners and DonorsAchieving Zero Hunger is the work of many. Our work in Bolivia is made possible by the support and collaboration of our partners and donors, including:
- MDRyT (Ministry of Rural Development and Land)
- Ministry of HealthSub Gobernación de Yacuiba
- APG (Asociación del pueblo Guaraní - Yacuiba)MAECH (Mancomunidad de Alimentación Escolar Chuquisaca)