Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America: of its 9.5 million population, two thirds overall – 80 percent in rural areas – live below the poverty line.
Over the last ten years, stunting in children under 5 has remained at 27 percent nationally and 37 percent in rural areas, exceeding 40 percent in the most food-insecure municipalities, according to a WFP consumption and nutrition survey.
Access is the main cause of food insecurity in Bolivia. The income of 40 percent of the total population -59 in rural areas- is insufficient to meet basic food needs. According to a vulnerability analysis and mapping (VAM) report, this figure increases to 72 percent for households in the most food-insecure municipalities, where 63 percent of households cannot provide the minimum caloric intake.
The largely rural and indigenous population in these municipalities depends heavily on subsistence agriculture; during the lean seasons people experience food deficits, and frequent natural disasters make agriculture an unreliable source of income. These factors affect the nutritional status of children, causing serious levels of chronic malnutrition.