With a per capita income of US$1,260, Bolivia is one of the poorest and most unequal countries in South America.
- Twenty percent of the population (1.9 million people) lives on less than US$1.25 a day.
- Bolivia ranks 111th among the world’s 179 nations in the Human Development Index, an indicator of social well-being across countries.
Although its history has been marked by severe political turmoil and high inequality, Bolivia also has a strong history of microfinance, which is an integral part of the economy-at-large. A strong regulatory system for microfinance exists and it passed laws that will allow NGOs to accept deposits from the public as “Instituciones Financieras de Desarrollo.” Estimates indicate that the industry increased the number of clients served by 17.4 percent between 2005 and 2007.
Grameen Foundation has been supporting microfinance activities in Bolivia since 2005. We currently provide financial services to Pro Mujer Bolivia, and CRECER through our Growth Guarantees program. We also work closely with FONDECO which piloted PPI, our social performance management tool in 2008.