UNDIPLOMATIC TIMES

INDEPENDENT NEWS AND COMMENT ON WORLD AFFAIRS

​47 ldcs in 2018​​

Afghanistan 

Angola1  

Bangladesh 

Benin 

Bhutan  

Burkina Faso 

Burundi 

Cambodia  

Central African Rep. 

Chad 

Comoros 

DR of the Congo 

Djibouti

Eritrea  

Ethiopia  

Gambia  

Guinea

Guinea-Bissau 

Haiti 

Kiribati 

Laos  

Lesotho  

Liberia  

Madagascar​

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​Malawi  

Mali  

Mauritania 

Mozambique  

Myanmar

Nepal

Niger

Rwanda  

Sao Tome & Principe

Senegal

Sierra Leone 

Solomon Islands

Somalia

South Sudan  

Sudan 

Timor-Leste

Togo

Tuvalu  

Uganda  

Tanzania  

Vanuatu 

Yemen  

Zambia 

LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES in BLEAK SITUATION


The world’s 47 Least Developed Countries continue to face major challenges in achieving the accelerated economic and social development program agreed to at the Istanbul Conference in May 2011 for the decade ending in 2020.


Since 2012 their economic growth has slowed to half the targeted rate of at least 7 per cent per annum recommended by the Istanbul Program. The main reason has been the sharp decline in the export prices of commodities on which African LDCs are heavily dependent.

The LDCs have also made limited progress towards achieving positive structural transformation. The share of the agricultural sector in their GDP declined gradually, from 27.1 per cent in 2001-2010 to 25.2 per cent in 2011, mainly as a result of trends in Asian members of the group.


The share of manufacturing in GDP has stagnated around 11.5 per cent. The share of the mining sector in GDP has expanded from 14.0 per cent in 2001-2010 to 16.3 per cent in 2011. Unfortunately, the LDCs that rely on extractive sector revenues (oil, gas and minerals) have been hit hard by high social inequality, with over 64 per cent of the population engaged in agriculture in 2012. 


2018 Update

A communique issued by the Ministerial Meeting of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in New York on 26 September 2018 drew attention to their bleak economic situation:

  • Of the 124 million people in 51 countries facing "Crisis food insecurity" caused by conflict, record -high food prices, drought and abnormal weather patterns, 81.8 million are in 33 LDCs. 


  • Foreign Direct Investment flows to LDCs contracted by 13 per cent in 2015 and another 17 per cent in 2017, falling from $38 billion to $26 billion. Investments continued  to concentrate on extractive and related industries, with little impact on domestic economies.


  • There is "a large and persistent gap between support needed and support provided" by donors of finance, technology and technical support for capacity building. 


  • Official development assistance from OECD-DAC countries, the largest and most critically important source of external financing for the development of LDCs, remains below its 2011 level. Its 4% rise in 2017 to $26 billion was the first increase since 2010.


  • As a result of continued reduction in flows of Official Development Assistance and increased borrowing at commercial terms the total external debt stock of LDCs increased from $155 billion in 2008 to $293.4 billion in 2017. Debt service as a percentage of government revenue increased in that period from 5.7 to 14 per cent. 


  • The share of the least developed countries in world exports of goods and services has continued to decline. It is now 0.89 per cent, down from a peak value of 1.04 per cent in 2013. Export of services fell by 4 per cent from 2015 to 2016.


  • The Green Climate Fund meant to mobilize $100 billion by 2020 has not been operationalized fully. As of May 2018, the Green Climate Fund has only raised $10.3 billion from 43 states.


Crowd-Funding a Way Out
The basic problem LDCs face is that they do not have the tax base to support development and donor countries cannot provide adequate support because it must be drawn from their own taxpayers. Crowd-funding offers a way out of this situation not only because it can provide adequate funding but because it will generate growth in doing so.