Graduation from the LDC category


Identification of Eligible Countries

  • The CDP reviews the list of LDCs and makes recommendations for inclusion in and graduation from the category every three years
  • These recommendations are not exclusively based on the criteria scores, complementary country-specific information (DESA impact assessment, UNCTAD vulnerability profile) and the views of the government are also taken into account
  • The graduation thresholds, as determined by the CDP, must be met for any two of the three criteria in two consecutive triennial reviews
  • Alternatively, the GNI per capita of the country is at least twice the graduation threshold in two consecutive triennial reviews (income-only criterion)

Graduation Thresholds: 2021 Triennial Review

Gross National Income
(GNI) per capita

Human Assets Index

Economic Vulnerability Index

GNI per capita: $1,222 or above
Income-only: $2,444 or above
66 or above 32 or below


Time frame of the eligibility procedure

Year 0

(first triennial review)

Finds country eligible for the first time (eligibility needs to be reconfirmed at the next triennial review)
Notifies the country of the first finding

Between years 0 and 3

(between first and second triennial review)

Prepares a vulnerability profile and provides a draft to the country
Prepares an ex ante impact assessment and provides a draft to the country
CDP Secretariat
Consolidates United Nations inputs into graduation assessment (piloted upon CDP request since 2019)
● Initiates preparation for possible graduation (early start of preparations recommended by CDP since 2018)
     • Establishes or uses existing consultative mechanism with development and trading partners
     • Initiates work on smooth transition strategy
● Provides comments on the draft documents and preliminary data prepared by UN entities

Year 3

(second triennial review)

● Confirms eligibility (second finding)
● Recommends country, taking into account LDC criteria and additional information (supplementary graduation indicators, graduation assessment and related documents, country statements)
Recommendation includes statement on length of preparatory period (standard – 3 years, extended – up to 5 years) as well suggestions for priorities and type of support needed to ensure a smooth transition
Endorses the CDP recommendation
General Assembly
Takes note of the CDP recommendation
Between years 3 and 6*   Graduating Country
● Finalizes smooth transition strategy
● Reports to the CDP on the preparation of the strategy
Facilitates consultative mechanism; provides support on transition strategy upon request
UN System
Provides targeted assistance and capacity-building upon request, coordinated by Inter-Agency Task Force
Development and trading partners
Participate in consultative mechanism and provide support as agreed
Monitors development progress of the country during the period; reports findings annually to ECOSOC
Year 6*   Graduation becomes effective, country is no longer in the LDC category

After year 6*

(after graduation)

  Graduated country
● Implements and monitors the transition strategy
● Submits to the CDP progress reports on its implementation annually for the first three years after graduation, and triennially at two triennial reviews
Development and trading partners
● Support the implementation of the transition strategy
● Avoid abrupt reduction of LDC-specific support
Monitors development progress of graduated country; reports its findings to ECOSOC annually for the first three years after the country’s graduation, and triennially at two triennial reviews afterwards

* Year indicates standard length of preparatory period applied, exact date will be determined by the General Assembly

Impact Assessment

  • Focuses on expected implications of loss of LDC status and LDC specific support measures
  • Counts on inputs from the country and its development and trading partners

Vulnerability Profile

  • Provides a background of the country’s economic and development situation
  • Compares values of indicators used in the triennial review with relevant national statistics
  • Assesses vulnerabilities faced by the country not covered by the EVI
  • Identifies other structural features of relevance for the graduation decision

Timeline: Country Graduations

Timeline of country’s graduation from the LDC category

2026 Bangladesh *, Lao People’s Democratic Republic *, Nepal *
2024 Angola *, São Tomé and Príncipe *, Solomon Islands *
2023 Bhutan *
2020 Vanuatu
2017 Equatorial Guinea
2014 Samoa
2012 South Sudan
2011 Maldives
2007 Cabo Verde
2003 Timor-Leste
2000 Senegal
1994 Botswana
Angola, Eritrea
1991 Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Solomon Islands, Zambia
1990 Liberia
1988 Mozambique
1987 Myanmar
1986 Kiribati, Mauritania, Tuvalu
1985 Vanuatu
1982 Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Togo
1981 Guinea-Bissau
1977 Cabo Verde, Comoros
1975 Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Gambia
1971 Afghanistan, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Samoa, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen

* Scheduled for graduation

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