Poorest Countries Falling Further Behind UN

Geneva – Efforts to boost economic development in the remaining 48 LDCs have been “glacial”, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said in its annual report on the world’s poorest nations.The planet’s poorest countries are falling further behind the rest of the world and cannot catch up without more aid and favourable trade deals, a UN report said Tuesday.In the 45 years since the United Nations created its list of Least Developed Countries (LDC), only four have graduated from the impoverished group: Botswana, Cape Verde, Maldives and Samoa. Nearly half of the global poor — currently defined as people living on less than $1.90 per day — live in the 48 most impoverished countries, a rate that has more than doubled since 1990, UNCTAD said.UNCTAD warned that these four dozen nations were caught in “vicious circle” in which their sustained poverty was increasingly hampering their ability to lift themselves up on their own. “Countries can only break out of such vicious circles with international support in finance, trade and technology”, the agency said in a statement.UNCTAD chief Mukhisa Kituyi therefore stressed that graduation from the poorest nation category is not, in itself, a mark of progress. “How a country graduates is just as important as when it graduates,” he said in a statement.The current list of least developed countries includes 34 African nations, nine in Asia, four in the Pacific region as well as Haiti.

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