UN envoy welcomes increased aid by rich nations to world’s poorest countries

30 January 2007 –

The United Nations envoy for the world’s poorest countries has welcomed new data showing that industrialized nations continue to increase their levels of economic assistance to the most impoverished States.

Anwarul K. Chowdhury, the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, issued a statement yesterday following the release of statistics from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The figures indicate that the amount of official development assistance (ODA) to nations classified as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) rose by 8.8 per cent to $25.6 billion in 2005, the most recent year for which there is available data. That is the fifth consecutive annual increase, and aid to LDCs has more than doubled since 2001, when the Brussels Programme of Action for LDCs was adopted to try to boost the economic performance of those nations.

“We welcome the continuing increase in aid, which is a key element in these vulnerable countries’ efforts to dig themselves out of poverty,” Mr. Chowdhury said.

But Mr. Chowdhury expressed concern that only seven of the world’s wealthiest countries have met the target – set as part of the Brussels Programme of Action – of spending 0.15 to 0.2 per cent of gross national income on aid to LDCs.

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