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Plurinational State of Bolivia country strategic plan (2023–2027)

Operation ID: BO03

CSP approved at EB November session 2022

The Plurinational State of Bolivia is one of the countries in the region that has made the greatest progress in poverty reduction. Current indicators show that 36.3 percent of its population lives in moderate poverty and 11 percent in extreme poverty. Every year, the country experiences an average of 160 extreme weather events, which exacerbate the impacts of rural poverty and food insecurity, reduce the availability of potable water, increase vector-borne illnesses and trigger forest fires that decrease arable land availability. The Bolivian Government has reaffirmed its commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and its economic and social development plan (2021–2025) contains ten strategic pillars linked to the Sustainable Development Goals. However, achieving the 2030 Agenda will require sustained investments and coherent national policies that address the intersection of climate change and the “Living Well” paradigm’s notion of food sovereignty.

The Plurinational State of Bolivia is ranked 90th of 165 countries in its progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Although the country has achieved targets related to reducing the prevalence of wasting in children under 5 and increasing cereal yields, challenges remain in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 including by reducing undernourishment and obesity among population groups who lack financial access to diverse, nutritious, local food and instead opt for cheaper, imported options.

The Gini coefficient, which measures income inequality on a scale from 0 to 1, fell from 0.45 in 2020 to 0.42 in 2021. In addition, at-risk groups who experience intersecting forms of economic and structural inequalities, such as indigenous women, smallholders and poor households in periurban areas, continue to face poverty and are vulnerable to food insecurity. Bolivia’s gender inequality index score in 2021 was 0.722, indicating a gender gap of 28 percent. Malnutrition continues to be a challenge, particularly micronutrient deficiencies among women of reproductive age, and obesity is on the rise as vulnerable households have reduced access to diverse and nutritious diets. The 26 percent gap in labour market participation between men and women is largely explained by gendered social norms that view domestic and unpaid care work as the responsibility of women. In part linked to a lack of access to stable sources of income, four out of ten women in the country live in poverty, with indigenous women particularly affected. Smallholders, especially indigenous communities, have limited access to local markets as a stable source of income. The Plurinational State of Bolivia is not self-sufficient in staple foods such as wheat, despite their growing importance in household diets, leaving the country dependent on imports and vulnerable to volatile international commodity prices, including fuel.

The country strategic plan will engage various stakeholders, from the Government and the private sector to smallholder women and men and vulnerable indigenous communities, to address food insecurity among the most vulnerable smallholders. The plan focuses on engaging with vulnerable women as primary caretakers and subsistence farmers. WFP will complement its direct interventions with a strategy that takes a holistic and participatory approach to addressing food insecurity and supporting smallholder livelihoods by improving the quality, coherence and scope of social assistance schemes. WFP intends to improve access to and the consumption of diverse and nutritious food through improved livelihoods and information, ensuring equitable smallholder access to sustainable high-value markets for their products, and through sustained communications and advocacy from the local to the national levels to support stronger policies and programmes addressing emergencies, rural poverty and climate change adaptation.

The country strategic plan is aligned with WFP strategic outcomes 1, 3 and 4 and presents three interrelated country strategic plan outcomes that aim to support the Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia in achieving Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 17:

➢ Outcome 1: Food-insecure and vulnerable households affected by shocks in Bolivia benefit from anticipatory action, emergency preparedness, coordination and response that meet their diverse emergency food and nutrition needs and support rapid recovery

➢ Outcome 2: Food-insecure smallholder farmers and indigenous communities in Bolivia – particularly rural women – are more resilient to climate and other shocks and stresses, including through sustainable livelihoods, consistent incomes, improved productivity and market access and demand

➢ Outcome 3: Local, regional and national institutions have improved capacity, coordination, and programme and policy coherence related to support for the most vulnerable groups in Bolivia by 2027.

WFP will engage with the Government at all levels to ensure a coherent approach to emergency preparedness and response, smallholder productivity and food insecurity among vulnerable rural and peri-urban communities, including women, at each stage of project implementation and with a view to environmental sustainability, integrating lessons learned from previous experience.