USAID Named "Organization of the Year" by Bolivian Newspaper El Diario

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, January 14, 2009
USAID Press Office

LA PAZ, BOLIVIA - Bolivian newspaper El Diario named the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) the "Organization of the Year" for the second consecutive year. According to Jorge Carrasco Guzman, general manager of El Diario, USAID was recognized in 2007 because of the Agency's strong support for Bolivia's development. Carrasco noted the paper decided to recognize USAID again in 2008 because, despite fragile bilateral relations, the United States continued its significant development support to Bolivia through USAID. Acting USAID/Bolivia Mission Director Peter Natiello visited El Diario to receive the award and to discuss USAID's work in support of Bolivia's development during 2008. On December 31, El Diario announced the award on its front page, as well as on the cover of its special annual edition, and included the interview with Natiello, plus a fact sheet on USAID accomplishments inside its regular edition. El Diario is Bolivia's oldest national daily with the second largest circulation in the capital city of La Paz.

USAID's development support to Bolivia in 2008 benefited the country's neediest population and continued to support the Government of Bolivia's National Development Plan. Some examples of these efforts include: A USAID partnership that provided vaccinations for 32,000 children and prenatal care to 150,000 women; the export value of USAID-assisted products from the Yungas and the Cochabamba Tropics regions surpassed $35 million, benefiting more than 13,000 families; more than 6,600 Bolivians became clients of formal financial institutions in areas that did not previously have access to financial services; and 28,613 cases from low income citizens in peri-urban areas (60 percent women) were presented to 11 USAID-supported Integrated Justice Centers (IJCs) with 22,379 (78 percent) of the cases successfully solved.

USAID development support to Bolivia is also directed to long-term achievements: over the past seven years, through well targeted food security programs, USAID has helped increase small farmer incomes in the poorest areas of Bolivia and reduce chronic malnutrition by approximately 17 percent versus an approximately 1 percent decrease in other geographical areas. Additionally, working closely with key stakeholders over the last several years, USAID has helped Bolivia to become the world's leader in forest certification, with more than two million hectares of forest voluntarily certified. Further, with USAID assistance through a Bolivian NGO, more than 110 local firms are now applying clean production technologies that reduce pollution, improve efficiencies, and increase the bottom line.

For more information on USAID and it's programs in Bolivia, visit