The Recovery Plan for Areas Affected by Fires, presented yesterday in Santa Cruz, aims to restore sustainable livelihoods to more than 3.4 million hectares that were affected by forest fires in 2019. Most of the affected territory belongs to the Chiquitanía. It contemplates at least 20 strategies and 82 projects distributed in the attention of 26 affected municipalities, 18 municipalities attended with humanitarian aid and 4,472 families.
The Bolivian company Sigma will import the Russian drug Avifavir, designed to combat Covid-19, and will subsequently produce it in its laboratories in Cochabamba, once the necessary procedures completed. According to the agreement, Russia will sell at least 150,000 packages of Avifavir. It will transfer the technology for producing the final dose to its partner in Bolivia, which will reduce the waiting period and logistics costs, as well as the time needed to introduce Avifavir in the treatment of coronavirus.
The roadblocks led by the Central Obrera Boliviana, following the postponement of the elections to October 18, are causing damage to the logistics of transporting the grains that correspond to the winter cycle harvest to the collection and processing centres. There are approximately 800,000 hectares in the process of harvesting corresponding to wheat, corn, sunflower and sorghum crops.
The national economy is going through a hard time due to the pandemic and social conflicts. A slowdown in economic growth observed, reaching 2.2% in 2019. The fiscal deficit that same year was 7.2% of the GDP and the trade balance closed with a shortage of 3.3%. Reserves decreased from 51% of the GDP in 2012 to 16% of the GDP in 2019 ($6.47 billion). External debt increased by 26% of the GDP. The National Institute of Statistics reports that unemployment as of June 2020 rose to 9.6%, from 4.8% at the end of 2019. The National Chamber of Commerce (CNC) announced that losses, from all sectors, could reach $3 billion by the end of the year.
The Forest Monitoring and Information System (SIMB) recorded 2,676 more heatwaves from January to August 4 than in a similar period last year. Sixty-five thousand three hundred eighty-six hot spots reported, while in 2019 the number of hot spots reached 62,710, an increase of 4.27%. Fires in protected areas increased by 27%, while in forest reserves heat sources rose by 17.2%. Activists and volunteer firefighters called for the repeal of Law 741 and Supreme Decree 3973, which authorize clearing for agricultural activity in the departments of Santa Cruz and Beni.