According to the Bolivian Constitution, all basic services have to be guaranteed by the state, who also has to ensure that they are universally distributed and watch over their quality. However, in 1997 the de Lozada's government started a privatization process across all sectors in the country, including water utilities. Water service and sanitation in La Paz and El Alto were handed over to the company Aguas del Illimani S.A., a subsidiary of Suez-Lyonnese des Eaux, with grants from the World Bank. In 1997, in fact, the the World Bank declared that it would stop providing Bolivia with international development grants unless the government of Bolivia privatized the water supply of La Paz and El Alto. Consequently, Alteños have found themselves fiscally constrained by the new contract that controls their water distribution.