Resilient Bolivian Cities

Bolivian cities’ exposure to natural hazards – mainly floods, flash floods and landslides - in combination with rapid unplanned urbanization is a huge issue: Bolivia has the second highest economic risk exposure to multiple hazards worldwide. To improve resilience of its cities, the government has identified key challenges it needs to address.

Country/region Period Budget
01.12.2020 - 31.01.2025
CHF  4’680’000

Accordingly, the government is improving the policy frame and scaling up investment approaches and tools to increase resilience. The project will support the two municipalities Santa Cruz and La Paz and the central Government in this quest. Additionally, and in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, counterpart institutions for disaster risk management will build capacities for crisis response at the short term and strengthen preparedness at the longer term.


The overall objective is to mainstream resilience into infrastructure investments and urban planning at the national and local levels. Additionally, sustainability of infrastructure built through an associated World Bank loan will be strengthened.

The project’s first component will improve risk monitoring and prevention, implemented by the municipalities of La Paz and Santa Cruz. The second component diversifies and increases financing for resilience measures, implemented by the ministry of planning. The third component, implemented by urban vice-ministry, supports the improvement of national policies for urban resilience and the replication of good practices. Additional accompanying measures will ensure integration of internationally acknowledged Swiss expertise and Swiss innovation. Flexibility in the project approach allows for adjusting activities to changing priorities. This is required because of Bolivia’s political instabilities and the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Medium-term outcomes

Project municipalities have increased their capacity to mainstream resilience and Disaster Risk Management approach into urban planning, and construction, operation and maintenance of public infrastructure

Project municipalities and the National Government have established frame conditions for the diversification of financing sources for resilience

The National Government has enhanced Bolivian cities’ knowledge of risks and developed tools and regulations for improving resilience at the local level


Expected results:  

Institutional DRM framework established in Santa Cruz and resilience standards for supervision of public works improved.

Local hazard/risk information enhanced and Early Warning Systems improved and expanded.

Citizen engagement framework for investments in infrastructure and resilience interventions established.

Understanding of key risk and vulnerability factors in project municipalities enhanced.

Understanding of framework and opportunities to increase financing for investments in resilience in project municipalities improved.

Improvement of national planning budgeting tools for risk reduction and resilience supported

Urban resilience approach streamlined into National Policy on Integral City Development and framework for implementation developed

Understanding of key gaps in regulatory framework for resilient infrastructure improved

Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Credit area Development cooperation
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’680’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF    71’250’000
Project phases Phase 1 01.12.2020 - 31.01.2025   (Current phase)