COVID-19 in Bolivia: On the path to recovering development

Oct 29, 2020

Bolivia, just like the other countries of the region, was not excluded from the impact of COVID-19 and the pandemic appeared in the midst of an economic and political crisis as a result of the failed presidential elections of October, 2019. Despite the fact that timely measures were adopted to face the pandemic at the beginning of the outbreak and that, in effect, it did slow down the initial increase of the epidemiological curve, later it became impossible to stop the exponential growth of cases and finally the health care system collapsed exposing its deficient structure. The lockdown paralyzed activities and many people lost their jobs; livelihoods were partially or totally destroyed which resulted in a loss of income for many. The economy was faced by a supply shock followed by a demand shock because the level of household consumption dropped. By imposing dynamic and flexible quarantines the government has now started to re-open the economy and has provided the financial system with funds for loans needed to boost the domestic demand.

The COVID-19 not only unleashed the crisis but has also opened opportunities and the urgency to get back to work as soon as possible very often was not made visible or ignored. This concerns a society that needs to recover its rights under a new equitable, inclusive and just framework of social justice that focuses on making progress and re-channeling efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

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