Despite recent economic progress, the Plurinational State of Bolivia still faces major development challenges: its per capita gross domestic product is among the lowest in Latin America and the Caribbean; more than half the population lives in poverty; inequality and exclusion persist; and rates of chronic malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies in children under 5 remain high.
Limited access to food is the main cause of food insecurity. High food prices and persistently low incomes prevent 45 percent of rural households from meeting their food needs. Recurrent natural disasters and a significant increase in El Niño and La Niña weather-related phenomena have exacerbated hunger and undernutrition. The most vulnerable groups are women and children in rural areas, and indigenous people, who account for 65 percent of the population of 10 million.
The overall objective of this country programme is to strengthen local and national capacities to break the inter-generational cycle of hunger. The programme has been prepared with the Government and focuses on three main areas: i) strengthening of food and nutrition interventions throughout the life cycle, particularly for the most food-insecure populations; ii) disaster risk reduction, humanitarian assistance and climate change adaptation; and iii) promotion of diversified food production, dietary diversity and marketing conditions favourable to small farmers. Implementation of innovative strategies based on a community development approach will prepare municipalities to run effective safety nets.
The country programme is in line with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (2013–2017), Bolivia’s National Development Plan (2007), the new Political Constitution, and the food sovereignty law. It takes into account the main recommendations from the previous country programme’s mid-term evaluation. It is aligned with WFP’s Strategic Objectives 2, 4 and 5 and contributes to Millennium Development Goals 1, 2 and 5.