The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing financial support for the construction of drinking water supply and wastewater treatment facilities in Bolivia. The project is called “My Water V”. The Bank has so far provided $US 63.5 million in loans under the cooperation with the Bolivian Development Planning Ministry. This batch is going to be matched by extra $US 77 million from the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) to finance this project, which comes on top of the bilateral aid in the water and sanitation sector that Brussels provides to the country via its delegation in the form of grants.
The support provided by the EIB and CAF will help implement more than 600 small investment schemes that will help 200,000 people to gain access to potable water and around 85,000 with better wastewater collection and treatment services. The majority of the beneficiaries live in small communities in isolated rural areas. The financial support is provided under the 2014-2020 lending mandate for Latin America.
The EIB Vice-President responsible for the Bank’s operations in Latin America, Emma Navarro, commented that this financial support was good example of the EU’s priorities on the continent through the support of climate action and projects that have social and economic benefits. Up to 2022, the different schemes under this program will be implemented to assist around 12,000 people with job search. The scheme will also create employment for local people and the local communities will be responsible to operate and maintain the different facilities and managing the service to users.
Since 2009, Bolivia has undergone a process of political and social reform as a result of which it has seen solid economic growth. Extreme poverty had declined from 37% in 2005 to 17% in 2014, moving from a low-income economy to a lower/middle-income one. Beyond water management, the EU’s priorities in the country have included justice reform and fight against illicit drugs.