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Development Account Projects

Capacity building for removing constraints in utilizing international support measures for Least Developed Countries


The category of least developed countries (LDCs) was introduced in 1971, to enable these countries to benefit from the special measures adopted by the international development community. Among the international support measures (ISMs) available to LDCs are trade-related benefits which can be divided into three main areas: (a) preferential market access, (b) special treatment regarding World Trade Organization-related obligations, and (c) trade-related technical assistance. Due to their complexity, these measures are often difficult to use. As such, this project seeks to enhance the capacity in four selected LDCs to access and effectively use the trade-related international support measures for addressing structural handicaps, thus removing obstacles for growth and the eradication of poverty. In doing so, the project will contribute to the overarching goal of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for LDCs for the Decade 2011-2020 to overcome the structural challenges faced by LDCs in order to eradicate poverty, achieve internationally agreed development goals and enable graduation from the least developed country category.

The focus of the project is on improving the capacity of the four participating LDCs in utilizing the trade-related international support measures to enhance export growth in products of priority interest to LDC by addressing institutional constraints in assessing, accessing and sharing information (among government agencies involved in facilitating access to the support measures and representatives from the export sector) about the availability and use of those measures. The experiences gained by the participating LDCs as well as the toolkits developed under the project should benefit all countries in the LDCs category.

With a total project budget of US$670,000, the lead entity for the implementation of the project is the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) Secretariat of the Development Policy and Analysis Division of DESA. The CDP Secretariat will implement the project in consultation with the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Secretariat, ITC, UNCTAD, UNDP, WTO Secretariat and other relevant entities with specific ISM expertise, if required. The project has a distinct focus on least developed countries in Africa and has a multi-country coverage. Target beneficiaries are policy-makers and representatives of the private sector from selected LDCs.


To increase national capacity in the Governments and Export Sectors of participating LDCs to access and effectively use the trade-related international support measures for advancing the development strategies of LDCs in overcoming structural handicaps and economic vulnerability.

Expected accomplishments:

  • Improved capacity in LDCs to assess the appropriate trade-related international support measures and setting priorities for accessing these measures for a faster export growth.
  • Improved capacity in LDCs to address institutional constraints in accessing and sharing information about the availability and use of trade-related international support measures.

Implementation status:

In progress.