The Plurinational State of Bolivia faces major development challenges and remains one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Malnutrition affects 18 percent of Bolivian children under 5 years, with significant variations between urban and rural areas, where the prevalence of chronic malnutrition reaches 25 percent.
Over 10 percent of the population is highly vulnerable to food insecurity, the main causes of which are low income, difficult access to clean water and basic services, and climate change. During the last years, recurrent natural disasters and a significant increase in El Niño and La Niña weather-related phenomena have exacerbate hunger and undernutrition. 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.
WFP has been present in Bolivia since 1963, implementing operations in all the regions of the country. It currently works across three very different departments: Pando in the Amazon basin, Chuquisaca in the Andean valleys and Tarija in the Chaco. WFP’s objective is to strengthen local and national capacities to break the intergenerational cycle of hunger. Our activities focus 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 favorable marketing conditions for smallholder farmers.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
School mealsEach year, WFP provides school meals 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. It also provides nutrition education through school gardens and greenhouses, and promotes the use of eco-kitchens.
NutritionIn communities with stunting rates of 45 percent or more among children under 5, WFP aims to complement the Government’s conditional cash transfer programme Bono Juana Azurduy with blanket supplementary feeding for 4,000 pregnant and nursing women per year. Women attending health centres receive vegetable oil and fortified supplementary foods as well as nutrition education.
Livelihood developmentWFP 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 reductionTo 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:
- APG (Asociación del pueblo Guaraní - Yacuiba)