Bolivia is home to some of the highest poverty rates in all of South America, with over 75% of Bolivian households lacking regular access to basic foods -- conditions that are particularly acute among rural and indigenous communities.Like other Andean countries, Bolivia is prone to recurrent natural disasters, including flooding and drought, due to the El Niño and La Niña climate patterns. These disasters are hardest on the poor, causing widespread damage and leading to reduced access to water and increasing food prices. In response to this long-standing reality, the Bolivian government instituted a national Zero Malnutrition Program in 2006 that prioritized tackling undernutrition amongst communities experiencing high rates of food insecurity.
What we’re doing
Action Against Hunger has worked with at-risk communities in Bolivia since 2000, providing thousands with long-term food security and livelihood support while strengthening the health system to better address childhood malnutrition. Our teams work in close collaboration with local communities to build resilience to seasonal hunger and undernutrition by helping communities strengthen and diversify their livelihood options, promoting diet diversification, and ensuring that families have the means to incorporate more nutritious foods.
In 2010, Bolivia was beset by protracted droughts that caused widespread water scarcity and crippled staple crop harvests. In response, our teams raced to secure emergency water supplies for 50 communities facing extreme shortages, while helping another 4,500 farming families retool after their harvests were destroyed. We’ve implemented sustainable, community-based agriculture projects in the Rio Grande’s lower basin, and in areas prone to recurrent drought, we’ve promoted a variety of measures to preserve soil moisture and avoid erosion -- introducing ecologically appropriate manure, teaching crop rotation techniques, and working on solutions to livestock overgrazing. We’re committed to continue our work with Bolivia’s most vulnerable communities to address the humanitarian challenges they face.
In 2016 we helped 11,224 people receive nutritional support as well as 11,813 people gain economic self sufficiency through our projects to encourage finding solutions to common issues arrising from drought and livestock overgrazing.