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Brussels, 19 August 2013
Development Cooperation between the EU and Bolivia
Bolivia has moved from a low-income economy to a lower-middle-income economy in six years and has made progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Indicators reveal improvement of living conditions in the poorest segments of the population. According to recent World Bank data, life expectancy increased from 65 years (2007) to 67 years (2011), the rate of school enrolment from 86% (2007) to 100% in 2010 and improved water sources for rural population from 67% in 2007 to 71% in 2010.
At the same time, according to the Ministry for Economy and Finance, the incidence of moderate poverty in the country dropped from 64.8% (1996) to 51.3% (2009) and extreme poverty from 41.2% (1996) to 20.9% (2011). With internal funding increasing steadily in recent years, external aid is becoming proportionally less important. Currently, only 0.5% of GDP is development aid.
However, long-standing inequalities still exist and Bolivia remains the poorest country in South America. Despite recent progress, income distribution in Bolivia is still extremely unequal. The recent National Census reveals that 44% of households lack access to drinking water; it also shows that almost 36% of the population does not have electricity; and less than 10% of Bolivians have a connection to internet.
The EU’s work in Bolivia
The EU has worked with Bolivia for over 30 years. Bolivia is the biggest recipient of EU aid in Latin America, receiving €241 million from 2007-2013.
The EU provides 50% of all foreign assistance to Bolivia.
EU aid supports three priority areas:
1) Generating economic opportunities and decent work (€70m)
2) The fight against drugs (€69m)
3) Sustainable management of national resources (€102 m)
Bolivia also receives €12.77m under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) food budget and €31.75 million under the thematic budget lines (for 48 projects in a wide variety of areas, such as gender, civil society and human rights).
Three projects have also been implemented under the Instrument for Stability (€9 million) to support the fight against drugs in Bolivia, the promotion of political dialogue and the prevention of socio-political conflict in the country.
A project to construct the road between Uyuni and Tupiza has also been given an €8m grant through the Latin American Investment Facility (LAIF).
Results from the ground – how the EU is making a difference in Bolivia
In the Fight Against Drugs:
In water and natural resources:
Spotlight on projects
Water and Sanitation programme in peri-urban areas (€28.5 million)
This project was set up to improve the living conditions of the population in peri-urban areas (suburban areas next to a city with a population of more than 10,000 inhabitants) of La Paz, El Alto, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz and other major localities.
It helped to promote the sustainable management of water resources, promoting systems adapted to the impact of climate change. It also helped to increase access to the sustainable water supply and sanitation for the population, establishing systems based on the management of available water resources and applying new technologies (such as lower water consumption toilets, leakage reduction systems, etc) to promote the more efficient use of water.
Results achieved so far include:
Project to support the improvement of working conditions and employment generation in the mining areas of Bolivia (€10 million)
This project was set up in 14 municipalities which are currently reliant on mining (Sorata, Guanay, Oruro, Villa Poopó, Villa Huanuni, Llallagua Chayanta Colquechaca Ocurí, Tacobamba, Potosi, Porco, Cotagaita and Atocha). It was designed to improve the economic, social and environmental impact of the mining areas of Bolivia and to promote socially and environmentally responsible employment in these areas.
Sector Budget Support to the National Integral Development with Coca (€26m)
This programme was financed through the National Fund for Alternative Development (FONADAL) in order to diversity agricultural production in coca regions (e.g. banana, cacao, coffee, citrus fruits and palm hearts) and to improve the living conditions of the rural population by providing social infrastructure (water, sanitation, schools, hospitals, etc.) and capacity building of both local governments and social organisations, providing training, expertise and equipment, for example).
It has had the following impact: