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What are least developed countries (LDCs)?

Who are the LDCs?

LDCs are low-income countries confronting severe structural impediments to sustainable development. There are currently 48 countries designated by the United Nations as least developed countries (LDCs).

Who identifies LDCs?

The CDP reviews the list of LDCs every three years, and advises the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations about which countries should be added to the list and which countries could be graduated.

How are LDCs identified?

The CDP uses three criteria for identifying countries as LDCs:

  • gross national income (GNI) per capita
  • the human asset index (HAI)
  • economic vulnerability index (EVI).

Both HAI and EVI are composed of several indicators:

What benefits are available for LDCs?

LDCs have exclusive access to specific international support in the areas of trade, development assistance, and general support.

When was the LDC category established?

The LDC category was established in 1971and its membership has changed over time.

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