In Bolivia Diakonia’s work is especially focused on women, indigenous peoples and the most excluded sectors of society. Diakonia support the grass root organisations of the indigenous peoples and Afro-descendents and local NGOs in their demand for and implementation of human rights, democracy, local development and adaption to climate change.
High poverty rate - despite economic growth
Bolivia is located in the centre of South America with almost 10 million inhabitants, but is at the same time isolated due to its lack of infrastructure.
Despite strong economic growth in recent years, large social, cultural and economical gaps persist, with a poverty rate of 63 per cent, rising to 77 per cent in rural areas.
The rights of indigenous people
About two thirds of the population identify with one of the 36 indigenous groups in the country. Due to advocacy and active participation of partners and other civil society organisations Bolivia now has a new Constitution, which for the first time in history reflects the rights of the 36 indigenous peoples. And when Evo Morales was elected in 2005, he became the first Bolivian president with indigenous background.
Juan Carlos “Oso” Alurralde, Director of Agua Sustentable, right, discussing the disappearance of the Andean glaciers and its impact with community leader Eleuterio Yawincha. Photo: Martin Vilela
Heavily affected by climate change
On the other hand, Bolivia is a country heavily affected by climate change, for example, the melting of tropical glaciers. Diakonia and its partners are working with the indigenous peoples and organisations towards achieving climate justice and also to design and implement strategies for adaptation to climate change.