Economic development in the world’s most-disadvantaged countries – mostly in sub-Saharan Africa – is stalling against the background of a lukewarm global recovery, risking widening inequality, new analysis from UNCTAD has revealed (see report below).
Data suggests that the 47 least developed countries (LDCs), a long-established category of nations requiring special attention from the international community, will fall short of goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development unless urgent action is taken.
“The international community should strengthen its support to LDCs in line with the commitment to leave no one behind,” Paul Akiwumi, Director of UNCTAD’s Division for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes, said.
“With the global economic recovery remaining tepid, development partners face constraints in extending support to LDCs to help them meet the Sustainable Development Goals.”
GDP growth rates will likely continue to fall short not only of their 2002–2008 average, but also of their 2010–2014 levels, Mr. Akiwumi said.
“Inequalities between the LDCs and other developing countries risk widening.”
The analysis highlights that LDC growth averaged just 5% in 2017 and will reach 5.4% in 2018 – below the target of 7% growth envisaged by target 1 of Sustainable Development Goal 8 on promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth.