Education

  • Around the world, a total of 114 million of children do not get a basic education and 584 million women are illiterate (“Fast facts: the faces of poverty”)
  • In Africa, girls account for 55 percent of the approximately 40 million primary school-aged children who are not enrolled in school (Education in Africa Initiative, USAID website, 10 May 07)
  • One of the biggest obstacles hindering the ability of the LDC’s to pull themselves out of poverty, is the huge ‘brain drain’ in these countries (UNCTAD, “The Least Developed Countries Report 2007”)
  • In 2004, 1 million educated people emigrated from the LDCs out of a total skilled pool of 6.6 million – this equals a loss of 15%. Haiti, Samoa, Gambia and Somalia have lost more than half of their university-educated professionals in recent years. (UNCTAD, “The Least Developed Countries Report 2007”)
  • The health sector in particular has suffered worst: in sub-Saharan Africa, on average there are only 13 doctors available for 100,000 people. (UNCTAD, “The Least Developed Countries Report 2007”)
  • Although aid to poor countries has been steady, it has been largely ineffective because it has failed to recognize the importance of knowledge and innovation in driving development. (UNCTAD, “The Least Developed Countries Report 2007”)
  • Only 95 people in every million are scientific researchers in LDCs compared to 3,728 in high-income countries. Enrolment at university-level institutions is onl;y 3.5% in LDCs against up to 69% in rich nations. (UNCTAD, “The Least Developed Countries Report 2007”)