Canadian international assistance in Bolivia
Bolivia is the poorest country in South America and is also one of the poorest in the western hemisphere. Although classified as a middle income country, it is at the lower end of that scale. Indigenous people represent approximately 65% of the country’s 10 million people. The country’s diverse and fragile ecosystems are extremely vulnerable to climate change.
Since 2006, the Government of Bolivia has introduced economic and social reforms designed to meet the basic needs of the poorest people. As a result, moderate poverty has dropped from 59% to 39%, and extreme poverty (under US $1.90 a day) has dropped from 39% to 17% since 2005 (Government of Bolivia). Women and girls have not benefitted as much as men from the country’s economic growth. They are often marginalized, suffer violence, and have limited access to and control over productive resources.
Bolivia ranks 118th out of 188 countries on the United Nations Development Programme's 2016 human development index. Expanding and diversifying the economy (which relies heavily on mining and gas) and creating jobs while reducing inequality are fundamental priorities for the Government of Bolivia. The reduction of maternal and infant mortality rates, among the highest in the hemisphere, is a priority.
Adolescent pregnancies account for a high proportion of maternal deaths. Malnutrition is a contributing factor in the deaths of mothers and children, along with:
- disparity between rural and urban areas
- disparity between indigenous and non-indigenous people
- lack of access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
Bolivia has maintained a fairly peaceful democracy since 1982, although work remains to be done to improve the professionalism, accountability, and transparency of its democratic processes and institutions and to strengthen the rule of law.
Our international development assistance
Search the Project Browser to see what Canada is doing to support development in Bolivia.
Canadian development assistance has been active in Bolivia since 1977. Its development program received a strongly positive evaluation for its 2005-2010 results by the Global Affairs Canada's External Evaluation Committee in 2013.
Canada's international development program in Bolivia is closely aligned with the principles of Bolivia's national development plan, which promotes the Government of Bolivia's goals of constructing a new, equitable, more just, and economically vigorous society by addressing the social, democratic, and economic dimensions of development.
The overall goal of the program is to support a more equitable society in which poverty is reduced and the quality of life of vulnerable and marginalized populations is improved. Through its projects, Canada is working to promote women’s rights, increase their access to economic resources, to employment and their participation in decision-making in all areas of society.
Creating a more diverse, sustainable and inclusive economy
Key anticipated results:
- Supporting employment skills training for young people through technical and vocational training
- Greater market linkages
- Supporting and promoting local and rural economic development
Improving the lives of women and girls
Key anticipated results:
- The empowerment of women as economic actors by increasing their access to knowledge, markets, and technology
- Fostering maternal health and reducing child mortality by promoting basic health and hygiene practices, sexual and reproductive health and rights
- Promoting women’s participation in decision-making at all levels of society
- The Embassy of Canada to Peru and Bolivia
- Government of Bolivia: Economic and Social Development Plan 2016-2020
- Date Modified: