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LDC Project:
Capacity Building — Graduation Strategies for LDCs


The project aims at improving the capacity of LDCs to have access to and benefit from the special support measures adopted by the international development community. For those countries graduating from the category, the project will also provide the necessary tools to assess the likely impact of graduation and assist in developing strategies for the possible phasing out of the support associated with LDC status.


The category of LDCs was introduced in 1971, to allow these countries to benefit from the special support measures. These measures fall into four main areas: (a) preferential market access, (b) special treatment regarding WTO-related obligations, (c) official development assistance, and (d) technical cooperation.

The LDC list remains long, indicating lack of success in development. This is the result of many factors, one of which is the inability to take sufficient advantage of the existing benefits associated with LDC status.

A handful of countries, however, have recently been recommended for graduation. But, the withdrawal of effective support could lead to a disruption of progress achieved so far and result in countries’ backsliding to the LDC category.

The project is being implemented with the assistance of OECD/DAC, WTO, UNCTAD, UNDP, the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS), ESCAP and ECA.

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