The climate is harsh at 4,000 m in the Bolivian highlands and climate change has made conditions even rougher. Helvetas supports farmers to better adapt their crops and cultivation methods to the impacts of climate change and facilitates access to markets to sell the produce. Besides, Helvetas provides technical assistance to local authorities to improve municipal waste management systems.
  • Capital
  • Area
    1,098,581 km²
  • Poverty rate*
    7% of the population live under the poverty line of $1.90 per day
    Rank: 118 out of 188
  • Population
  • People supported per year
  • Thematic focus
    Environment and Climate Change
    Governance, Peace & Migration
    Sustainable and Inclusive Economies
    Urban Engagement
* Source: UN Data

At an altitude of over 4,000 m, the climate is harsh and alternates between extreme solar radiation and icy temperatures. These extremes have always posed formidable challenges to small farmers in the Bolivian highlands. But now climate change is making conditions even more difficult for farming communities in the Andes. The extended dry season and the resulting scarcity of water make it hard for the rural population to sustain their livelihoods.

New marketing strategies for farmers

Helvetas supports farmers to adapt farming methods to these adverse conditions. Farmers and private sector actors explore new marketing strategies. Growing quinoa and cañahua (a kind of millet), for example, allows farmers to complement their diet and sell a surplus in the market which in turn increases their income. Helvetas has been active in Bolivia since 1992.

Support in waste management

Given the harsh conditions and dim prospects in the Andean highlands, more and more people are moving to the cities and regional centers. Increased urbanization poses new challenges to the Bolivian authorities. Helvetas supports regional and local authorities to improve waste management and sewage systems. This includes environmental education, such as teaching children at school about recycling.

Participation in decision-making for the resources

The country’s rich natural resources (especially natural gas) and access to water have always been contentious issues in Bolivia, especially as not everyone reaps the benefits of these natural resources. In all our projects we seek to promote dialogue between political decision makers and interest groups. Helvetas advocates for the right of local communities to be informed and to have a say in decisions about the use of these resources and the revenues they generate.

Visit the website of Helvetas Bolivia.

© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
Farmer family in Bolivia © Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
Cocoa farmers supported by Helvetas © Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
A family in the Altiplano © Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
Altiplano, Bolivia © Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
Altiplano, Bolivia © Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen

Our Projects in Bolivia

 If you would like to know more about our work in Bolivia, click on each project for details.

Governance, Peace & Migration

In many countries where we work, men and women are unable to claim their rights and participate actively in decision-making processes.

Environment and Climate Change

Every year, we support over 1,000,000 people adapt to climate change, reduce the risks of disasters, sustainably manage natural resources, and conserve nature.

Sustainable and Inclusive Economies

Economic growth does not always benefit the poor and poverty is bad for growth. We need to make a proactive effort to break this vicious cycle.