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IDB in Bolivia

The IDB is providing critical support to help Bolivia overcome geographical constraints and a legacy of poverty, as well as to consolidate encouraging macroeconomic progress achieved in recent years.

A founding member of the IDB, Bolivia received the first loan from the Bank’s Fund for Special Operations in 1961 for a program to spur agriculture, energy, and industry. In addition to lending and non-reimbursable operations, recent support included a comprehensive debt relief program in 2007.

Prior to receiving debt relief, the IDB was Bolivia’s major creditor; after debt relief, the Bank became the country’s second most important creditor after the CAF. At the end of the first half of 2010, Bolivia’s outstanding debt with the Bank represented 27.5 percent of the country’s total multilateral debt, compared with an average of 45 percent of multilateral debt over the previous 15 years.

Top priorities 

The IDB’s 2011-2015 operational strategy for Bolivia is aligned with groupings of investment projects set forth in the government’s National Development Plan. The IDB priorities are as follows:

  • In the transportation sector, increase coverage of the country’s paved road network, particularly with the aim of integrating major highway corridors connecting Bolivia to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Also, the Bank will support rail transport, where the country’s top priority is connecting the eastern and Andean rail networks.
  • Expand water and sanitation services, including in peri-urban and rural areas, and improve solid waste collection and disposal through support to municipalities, improved equipment, public awareness campaigns, and construction of sanitary landfills.
  • Support increased renewable power generation and transmission capacity, expand electricity coverage, particularly in rural areas, and improve service quality.
  • Improve access to early childhood development services for poor and indigenous people and promote an intersectoral approach that combines actions in the areas of health, nutrition, education, and social protection.
  • Target actions to promote full access to the education system, particularly at the primary and secondary school levels, and increase completion rates. Bank financing will also promote education that meets the needs of the productive sector and supports improvements in monitoring and evaluation.
  • Promote health care quality and coverage for poor and indigenous people by strengthening the management and organization of the health care system, including network building, training, and human resource management to incorporate cultural diversity dimensions in the provision of services and their quality and effectiveness.
  • Support a legal framework for public governance issues, managerial career development, modernization of technology, and municipal development. In addition, support initiatives to consolidate economic stability and sustainability.

The strategy also includes actions in two cross-cutting areas: adaptation to climate change, especially in the water and sanitation, education, energy, and transport sectors; and inclusion of indigenous peoples and fostering of indigenous identity, particularly in the water and sanitation, early childhood development, education, and health sectors.

Recent operations

The IDB approved $252.8 million in loans to Bolivia in 2011. The country also receives financing from the Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund, which approved $6.3 million in 2010 for operations to strengthen the private sector, with an additional operation with two other countries to strengthen small businesses.

Over the past five years, the largest share of IDB lending to Bolivia has been directed to transportation ($214.9 million), followed by modernization of the state ($198.4 million), energy ($195.8 million) private sector development ($97.0 million), and sanitation ($91 million).

At the IDB, Bolivia is represented by a chair on the Board of Executive Directors shared with Paraguay and Uruguay. Bolivia holds shares equivalent to 2.45 percent of the Bank’s voting power.


Stories of change

The IDB is committed to helping Bolivia build on its progress in recent years by addressing major challenges that remain, particularly the problem of poverty. The Bank is focusing its support on projects to expand educational opportunities, provide greater access to health services, strengthen water and sanitation services, and improve transportation.  Read More >>

Bolivia: A Perspective

In recent years, Bolivia has achieved economic progress that stands out even in a region that has emerged remarkably well from the recent global crisis. In fact, the Bolivian economy achieved the best macroeconomic performance in Latin America in 2009, and the following year posted a solid 4.1% GDP growth with moderate inflation, a surplus in external accounts, and balanced fiscal accounts. 

Debt Relief

The debt relief package the IDB granted to Bolivia in 2007 is helping the country’s government focus public spending on measures to increase productivity and reduce poverty. Read more >>

Strategic Partnerships in Bolivia

The IDB uses its leadership role in Bolivia’s donor community to coordinate and harmonize efforts to help the country achieve its economic and social development goals while minimizing the burden and institutional cost of cooperation resources for the government. Read more >>

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