Created over 50 years ago, the Least Developed Country (LDC) category was always meant to be a temporary phase for the countries furthest behind in their development.
The social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt deeply, especially in Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
Developing countries still have to regain lost ground from the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has put more countries at risk of debt distress, constrained their fiscal space and hampered economic growth. The war in Ukraine is exacerbating all these challenges.
Over the past decade and more international relations have become more multipolar, as seen in the increasing political and economic prominence of countries such as India and China, divergences between large developed countries and regions, and the continued emergence of the Global South.
A new publication, launched the day before adoption of the Doha Programme of Action, explores how increased South-South and triangular cooperation can enhance the delivery of the new compact for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
In December 2020, in Paragraph 8(a) of Resolution 75/215 the UN General Assembly called on the Secretary General “to provide recommendations…on the potential development and coordination of work within the UN system on a multidimensional vulnerability index for small Island developing states, including on its potential finalization and use”.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored how poorly prepared Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are for a digital world. Uneven connectivity within the group has meant that many people and businesses in LDCs could not avail themselves of high-speed networks for remote learning, access to e-government services and online shopping.
Because island communities are at the frontlines of a changing world, they are spawning a wide range of solutions, some of which are addressing transnational development challenges. Many of these solutions need to be nurtured, promoted, scaled-up and implemented by different SIDS as nations co-operate and learn from each other.
The State of the Least Developed Countries 2021 report is a comprehensive assessment of where the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) stand a year into the COVID-19 pandemic. The report calls for a global coordinated response for LDCs that goes beyond recovery, ensuring that the most vulnerable countries can both get their development back on track and better prepare for future crises.