The United States Agency for International Development was named "Organization of the Year" for the second consecutive year by the Bolivian newspaper El Diario. Jorge Carrasco Guzman, general manager of El Diario, said the awards for 2007 and 2008 were given in recognition of USAID's strong support for Bolivia's development.
Acting USAID/Bolivia Mission Director Peter Natiello accepted the award on behalf of USAID. "This award greatly motivates us," said Mr. Natiello. "I am going to dedicate it to USAID's personnel, to individuals like coffee producer Zenobia Charca and to the Bolivians who have betted on a better future," he said.
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 of whom were women, were presented to 11 USAID-supported Integrated Justice Centers with 22,379 cases, 78 percent of the total, successfully solved.
Over the past 7 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 one 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 2 million hectares of forest voluntarily certified. Further, with USAID assistance through a Bolivian non-governmental organization, more than 110 local firms are now applying clean production technologies that reduce pollution, improve efficiencies, and increase production.
In his inaugural address, President Barack Obama said the United States is committed to working with developing nations:
“We pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow, to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.”