Bolivia stretches between the high plateau of the Andes and the lowland plains of the Amazon. The former President, Evo Morales, who came to power in 2005, was the first indigenous president to hold office in South America since Spanish colonisation. Today, 36 indigenous languages are officially recognised in Bolivia, alongside Spanish.
Despite the government’s efforts to reduce poverty, Bolivians in rural areas continue to be affected by it. Caritas Switzerland has been engaged in the country since 1988 to improve the incomes of the vulnerable population through vocational training and start-up finance. Taking an integrated approach, Caritas supports people to use natural resources carefully, to manage watersheds sustainably and improve access to drinking water.
Overview in figures
Source: Human Development Report, UNESCO, UNFPA (as of 2022)
- Total population: 12 million
- Poverty index (proportion of people affected by poverty): 6,6%
- Prosperity indicator (total 191 states): rank 118
- Gross National Income per capita: USD 8'111
- Life expectancy at birth: 64 years
- Child mortality: 1%
- Literacy rate (age 15 and over): 94%
- CO2 emissions per capita 1,8 tons
Caritas projects in the country
Header image: Improved access to drinking water is a long-term area of work for Caritas. © Pablo Quiroga / Yamil Antonia