“Least Developed Countries”, a global problem

“Least Developed Countries”, a global problem

The head of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, asked the organization’s member states to “provide resources” to support the 46 countries considered to be “least developed countries.”

What do the children of Haiti, Angola, Nepal and Uganda have in common? They are all part of the 46 countries classified by the United Nations as “Least Developed Countries” (LDCs), a category used to identify countries with the lowest indicators of economic development.

“everyone [estos territorios] GNI per capita is less than $1,018; In contrast to the approximately $71,000 in the United States, $44,000 in France, $9,900 in Turkey, and $6,530 in South Africa, the organization explained in a statement.

Not only that, but the 1,100 million people in these regions (14% of the world’s population) have the lowest indicators of nutrition, health, school enrollment and literacy, in addition to “high levels of economic and environmental vulnerability”.

“Systems are overburdened or non-existent, from health and education to social protection, infrastructure and job creation. During his opening remarks at the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, which began on March 5 and will last five days, António Guterres, the entity’s president, said during his opening remarks. “It’s getting worse.”

It is a conference that originated in 1981 with the aim that the countries that it considers to be the least developed countries were able to get out of the list, and this contributed to six countries achieving it, and the last case was Vanuatu in the year 2020.

The opening ceremony was attended by the President of Malawi, Lazarus Chakwera, who leads one of the world’s poorest countries, with a per capita GDP of $639, in 2021, according to World Bank data.

“We are not gathered here just to talk,” Chaquira said, outlining the challenges his country faces, including having more than half of its population below the poverty line and increasing droughts and floods affecting crops, a product of climate change.

He added that “the obstacles facing LDCs cannot be overcome by any of us alone”, questioning the policy of “most countries” to abandon multilateralism and “turn on themselves”.

On what actions need to be taken, the UN chief said that “to end this storm, massive and sustained investment is needed,” as the global financial system was designed by “rich countries” so that the least caring nations would see themselves “forced into it.” Allocating an increasing portion of public revenues to debt service,” because 25 of the 46 economies that are part of the least developed countries “spend more than 20% of their government revenues on debt service alone.”

In total, 16 Least Developed Countries are at risk of being considered “insolvent” and four (Mozambique, Somalia, St. Thomas and Principe and Sudan) already have this category, the entity asserts.

Guterres focused his intervention on three points: immediate aid, reform of the global financial system and adaptation to climate change, which he identified as a necessity for these countries to get out of the “vicious circles” that hinder their development.

With regard to aid, the UN chief stressed that it is necessary to allocate at least 500,000 million dollars annually, to support these least favored regions, while industrial economies give approximately 0.15% of their GDP to aid development, a mechanism that must provide. Economic aid to developing countries.

Regarding the reform of the financial system, Guterres said that emergency financing must be “expanded and items related to disasters and epidemics included in debt instruments.”

“Multilateral development banks must change their business model to attract greater flows of private finance to LDCs,” he added.

On climate change, Annan urged developed countries to “fulfill their promise” to allocate $100 billion to less developed countries, as well as to “participate” in climate finance and the Loss and Damage Fund.

Doha work programme

In order to comply with the agreements related to support for the least developed countries, the United Nations in March 2022 launched the Doha Work Programme, which includes among its commitments the creation of an online university, a food storage system and an international center for investment support.

We cannot allow countries to fall back from the development ladder after working hard to climb it. In the midst of these grievances, the United Nations is working with you to develop transition strategies, based on specific support for each country.”

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