Go to main content

Bolivia and Andean states

In Bolivia, HI’s programme is aiming to strengthen the inclusion in society of people with disabilities, in particular by facilitating access to rehabilitation care and protection services for young children and adolescents.

International Day of people with disabilities in Bolivia, music and dance festival

Actions in process

In Bolivia, HI works to improve the health and access to healthcare of children and adolescents with disabilities, as well as children at risk of developing a disability. In particular, HI supports families with very young children to help them access health services, while working hand in hand with professionals from the disability sector. HI offers training and competency building to health professionals to ensure better care for children with disabilities. Thanks to HI, children and their families have better access to development and nutrition services.

The organisation also supports parents and carers of people with disabilities through a psychosocial support scheme. Awareness raising and support sessions are organised to provide relatives with opportunities to discuss and identify ways of overcoming their day-to day difficulties. HI also organises disability awareness sessions within communities to combat prejudice and promote the development of a more inclusive society.

To help promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in Bolivian society, HI also raises awareness of disability issues among local stakeholders. Our teams provide advice to other organisations to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities and society’s vulnerable groups are taken into account in aid measures. They also work with the authorities at national and departmental level to develop and strengthen the services available to people with disabilities. They seek to ensure that disability issues are taken into account in decision-making and national policies.

Areas of intervention


Situation of the country

Despite progress in education, health and poverty reduction, Bolivia remains one of the poorest countries in Latin America. People with disabilities are often marginalised. They are insufficiently integrated into Bolivian society.

In 2005, the year Evo Morales was first elected President, Bolivian society and institutions began a process of fundamental change. That election marked a decisive turning point in terms of the recognition and inclusion of the country’s 36 ethnic groups and indigenous cultures.  Social and economic reforms have since been undertaken, bringing improvements in the education and health sectors in particular, and helping to reduce the number of people living below the poverty line.

However, despite this progress, Bolivia remains one of the countries with the highest rates of poverty (38.6%) and extreme poverty (16.8%). In addition, the incidence of violence against women and girls is particularly high, as is the number of teenage pregnancies. Inequalities and unemployment persist, and people with disabilities remain marginalised, suffering discrimination and a lack of access to the education system and vocational training. In addition, disability issues are not yet sufficiently taken into account in the country's public policies, which undermines access to services and respect for the rights of people with disabilities.

Bolivia is also regularly affected by natural disasters, and climate change is having a visible impact, particularly on agriculture, and disrupting the country’s economy. This is particularly true of the episodes of drought and flooding that recur periodically in the wake of the El Niño phenomenon.

Number of HI staff: 8

Programmed opened in: 2011

Map of HI's interventions in Bolivia

Latest stories

© J. Tusseau / HI