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World Bank approved a US$150M loan to support water resource management in rural Bolivia

  • World Bank approved US$150M loan to support water resource management in rural Bolivia

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The World Bank
The World Bank Group has two goals, to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity in a sustainable way

The World Bank Board of Directors approved a US$150 million loan for the Plurinational State of Bolivia to improve water resource management in 15 basins and 256 municipalities throughout the country. The project will help some 30,000 rural families enhance their capacity to address the impacts of climate change.

The beneficiary families mainly engage in subsistence agriculture in the upper areas of the basins. They face high rates of drought, deforestation, and soil erosion, which make their work more difficult. The Resilient Water Management for Household and Community Irrigation Project focuses on enhancing their productivity through the improved use of irrigation water.

“For the World Bank, it is crucial to support countries in achieving water security through adequate water management. Bolivia has progressed in this area through significant investments in irrigation to improve agricultural production; nevertheless, it still faces multiple challenges associated with climate change and the needs of small-scale farmers,” said Camille Nuamah, resident representative of the World Bank in Bolivia.

The World Bank Board of Directors approved a US$150 million loan for the Plurinational State of Bolivia to improve water resource management

In Bolivia, water security is a critical issue, with major territorial gaps and recurring climate events that cause unequal distribution of water. Climate change is expected to exacerbate these problems, with rising temperatures and reduced rainfall affecting the availability of water for agriculture.

The project supports the country's strategic planning in the sector, as established in the Plurinational Water Resource Plan (PPRH), promotes governance and institution-building in water management at the subnational and municipal levels, and provides investment guidance.

These investments will focus on three areas, determined based on the benefit for rural families: protection of water sources to increase supply through reforestation, recovery of native grasslands, soil improvement and protection of water recharge zones in an area covering ​​approximately 16,000 km2; optimization of household and community irrigation systems, including automated irrigation, to improve crop productivity, diversify production and improve household income; and implementation of flood- and erosion-resilient infrastructure (soil degradation).

Water insecurity also disproportionately affects women, who play a pivotal role in agriculture and water management. Therefore, the project will support their access to investments, ensure that their perspective is considered during project implementation and provide training that strengthens their skills as producers and increases their participation in decision-making in water and irrigation management organizations.

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