Regional World Bank Director met with the Bolivian Vice President.
La Paz, February 2012 – In an official visit to the Government Palace, the World Bank Director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, Susan Goldmark, met with the Vice President of the Plurinational State, Álvaro García Linera, and with the Minister of Development Planning, Viviana Caro. The meeting provided the opportunity to talk about the central axes of the recently agreed 2012-2015 Country Partnership Strategy, which will guide the implementation of current and new World Bank projects in Bolivia.
The World Bank portfolio in Bolivia consists of 13 investment projects for a total of almost US$ 445 million, as well as nine donations and a series of analytical activities. The new Partnership Strategy involves US$ 530 million, including the current project portfolio which counts on US$ 353 million, plus fresh funds worth US$ 177 million. Of the total amount, almost 60% (US$ 308 million) is oriented towards rural development.
During the visit, which lasted four days, the Regional Director was able to gain firsthand accounts of the real effects generated by some of the projects that the Bolivian Government is implementing with financing and technical assistance from the World Bank.
Along with a team of Bank and Government specialists, the senior official visited communities close to Lake Titicaca in La Paz and others located in the high valleys of Cochabamba. In the municipality of Huarina, she met with dozens of mothers who with their children, and alongside other pregnant women were attending health checkups as part of the Bono Juana Azurduy conditional cash transfer, a Program which receives important financial support from the World Bank.
”We are very pleased to see how this program helps mothers buy healthy food for their children, but also, and more importantly, how it helps them with free access to health controls in order to guarantee their well being and that of their small children” Goldmark said.
From its beginning in May to 2009 to date, more than 375 thousand children and more than 267 thousand mothers in 329 municipalities throughout Bolivia have been attended to through the Bono Juana Azurduy de Padilla cash transfer. The World Bank played a role in financing the Program in 52 initial municipalities, and this will increase to 114 this year.
The Director also visited a number of small agricultural producer associations which have been, or currently are, beneficiaries of PAR (the Rural Alliances Project), a Project financed by the World Bank. During the visits to these alliances - as much in the Aymara community of Seguenca in Pucarani, as in Punata, a small Cochabambino Quechua population - the delegation bore witness to the organizational capacity of some of the milk producing associations who were able to increase their production thanks to wise investments in stables or animal feed for their cattle, as well as to the responsibility of guaranteeing the provision of the product to the buyers.
The good thing about these alliances between agricultural producers and buyers is that they have found a way to make their businesses self-sustainable. It is also important to highlight that at the beginning of the project, these producers put in a 30% cash counterpart, which makes the commitment to ensuring that these ventures function even greater” Susan Goldmark commented during one of the visits.
Since 2005, PAR has succeeded in generating more than 700 rural alliances in agricultural areas that range from fruit and vegetable cultivation to milk production and basketry.