About LDCs

The Least Developed Countries represent the poorest and weakest segment of the international community. They comprise more than 880 million people (about 12 percent of the world population) but account for less than 2 percent of world GDP and about 1 percent of global trade in goods. Their low level of socio-economic development is characterized by weak human and institutional capacities, low and unequally distributed income, and scarcity of domestic financial resources. They often suffer from governance crises, political instability, and, in some cases, internal and external conflicts. Their largely agrarian economies are affected by a vicious cycle of low productivity and low investment. They rely on the export of a few primary commodities as a major source of export and fiscal earnings, which makes them highly vulnerable to external terms-of-trade shocks.

About LDCs - LDC Watch

Only a handful has been able to diversify into the manufacturing sector, though with a limited range of products in labor-intensive industries, i.e. textiles and clothing. These constraints are responsible for insufficient domestic resource mobilization, low economic management capacity, weaknesses in program design and implementation, chronic external deficits, high debt burdens, and heavy dependence on external financing that have kept LDCs in a poverty trap.

The category of LDCs was officially established in 1971 by the UN General Assembly with a view to attracting special international support for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the UN family.

The current list of LDCs includes 48 countries; 34 in Africa, 13 in Asia and the Pacific, and one in Latin America. Cape Verde, Maldives, and Samoa graduated from the list in 2007, 2011, and 2014 respectively.

Source: http://unohrlls.org

List Of LDCs


# Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs)
* Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

Criteria for LDCs

Criteria for Identification and Graduation of LDCs

The Committee for Development Policy (CDP), a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council, is – inter alia – mandated to review the category of LDCs every 3 years and monitor their progress after graduation from the category.

The identification of LDCs is currently based on three criteria: per capita gross national income (GNI), human assets and economic vulnerability to external shocks. The latter two are measured by two indices of structural impediments, namely the human assets index and the economic vulnerability index

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