New UN report spotlights economic progress in world’s most vulnerable nations

New UN report spotlights economic progress in world’s most vulnerable nations

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Although least developed countries as a group had registered impressive economic growth over the past 30 years, the number of poor continued to rise, according to a new United Nations report released today.

The Least Developed Countries Report 2008, published by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), provides an account of the economic situation in the world’s 50 most vulnerable nations.

Highlighting some of the report’s findings, UNCTAD’s Catherine Sibut told a news conference in Geneva that some 277 million people in the LDCs lived on less than $1 a day.

While economic growth had improved, the population had grown faster, she noted, adding that the food crisis had worsened the situation, with one least developed country out of three being dependent on food imports.

The report also provides information on the progress of LDCs towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the set of anti-poverty targets world leaders pledged to achieve by 2015.

Taking into account the development patterns and policies that were currently implemented in the LDCs, those countries were off-track to achieve the MDG of reducing the incidence of poverty by half by 2015, Ms. Sibut stated.

Established in 1964, UNCTAD promotes the development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy. Among other things, it provides technical assistance tailored to the specific requirements of developing countries, with special attention to the needs of the LDCs and of economies in transition.