Switzerland's development work in Bolivia focuses on governance, economic and vocational skills development, climate change mitigation and environmental protection. As it prepares to phase out its bilateral programme by 2024, Switzerland is prioritising knowledge transfer and support for young people in rural and peri-urban areas of the highlands and the Andean valleys. 

Map of Bolivia

In the past ten years Bolivia has experienced economic and income growth attributable to exports of gas, oil and mining products. Although the government's income redistribution programmes have reduced poverty, Bolivia remains one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Its revenue from commodities trading has fallen by 25% in the past three years. After two changes of government (in 2019 and 2020), Bolivia is faced with increasing economic and political challenges as well as diminished growth. The economic challenges include low productivity, underemployment, a lack of diversification and international competitiveness, and a significant shadow economy.

After more than 50 years of successful development cooperation, Switzerland will phase out its bilateral cooperation with Bolivia by the end of 2024. It will continue to conduct development policy dialogues, and will remain involved in the Andes region through its humanitarian aid and global programmes on water and climate change.

Switzerland is working with government agencies, national and international organisations, and other nations active in Bolivia to coordinate knowledge transfer and the phasing out of its bilateral development cooperation.


Promoting the rule of law and strengthening civil society

Swiss development cooperation projects include targeted measures to improve access to justice for broad sectors of the population, especially in rural areas. The programmes designed to improve the rule of law also focus on reducing violence towards women. The framework conditions for a freely emerging civil society have become appreciably more difficult in recent years. Switzerland and the international donor community support constructive dialogue and a culture of compromise between civil society and government.

Good Governance

Economic development

Economic and productive development with greater inclusiveness and equality

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) primarily works on vocational skills development, while the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) mainly promotes sustainable trade. With regard to vocational skills development for disadvantaged groups, Switzerland can draw on its own experience as well as on the expertise it has acquired in various Latin American countries. The aim of the projects in this area is to improve access to financial and non-financial services or new markets for vocational college graduates, producer families and micro-sized and small enterprises. Furthermore in this regard, alliances are to be set up between Swiss companies in Bolivia and the SDC in order to advance sustainable development within the framework of the 2030 Agenda. In addition, Swiss projects also place a strong emphasis on expanding production and increasing productivity.

Climate change and the environment

Risk prevention and improving resilience

Switzerland supports the sustainable use of natural resources. The Swiss contribution to combating climate change focuses mainly on adjustment mechanisms. The key aspects here are water management, land use and disaster risk reduction through prevention and preparedness. SECO contributes to this by supporting sustainable urban development measures. Environmental challenges are also arising due to growing urbanisation. In this area, the SDC is focusing mainly on wastewater and waste treatment.

Climate change and the enironment

History of cooperation

Switzerland's long-standing commitment is highly appreciated

Switzerland's long-standing and successful development cooperation efforts are held in high regard in Bolivia, where it has been active since 1968. Bolivia has been an SDC priority country since 1981 and a complementary country of SECO since 2017. The programme is adjusted on an ongoing basis to reflect the country's changing social and economic conditions.

Current projects

Object 13 – 16 of 16

Gestión integral del agua

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022

In Bolivia, Switzerland has been supporting the Ministry of the Environment and Water in improving integrated water and watershed management for several years. In this last phase of the project, support is given to the consolidation and implementation of the “Plan Nacional de Cuencas” (National Watershed Plan) to ensure water security and increase the climate resilience of vulnerable populations. Consolidation includes better coordination among various state levels, sectors and institutions and the systematization and capitalization of experiences and results.

Formación técnica profesional

01.05.2017 - 31.10.2023

Vocational skills development is key for improving production and expanding opportunities for employment and self-employment. The project aims to reduce poverty and inequality by enhancing access to the labour market. It seeks to strengthen vocational skills and certify competences with an emphasis on young people and adults, promote the quality of training centres, and the shared responsibility of public/private stakeholders. Strategies cover both the national and the local level.

Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership (GWSP) - Phase II

01.11.2019 - 30.06.2023

The GWSP is a leading global "think tank" of the World Bank to address the water and sanitation challenge in an integrated manner, as set out in the Sustainable Development Goals. GWSP advances innovative global knowledge production and exchange as well as builds capacity through country-level support across regions.

Global Trade Facilitation Program

17.12.2018 - 16.12.2022

Trade is a key stimulus to economic growth and fundamental to the competitiveness of developing country firms and industries. With appropriate policies and programs, trade is a major source of employment and enhanced consumer welfare for the poor.

Object 13 – 16 of 16