The United Nations Organization for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has listed 46 countries in the world as least developed countries, including Bangladesh-Afghanistan. 33 countries in this list published on Tuesday are from Africa. Besides, there are 9 Asian countries in this list.
According to the UNCTAD 2023 report, these countries need preferential market access, assistance, special technical assistance and other concessions to increase technological capacity. News from Anadolu Agency
According to the report, a large majority of least developed countries are in the African region, nine of them in Asia, three in the Pacific and one in the Caribbean.
So far six countries have been upgraded from least developed countries. They are – Botswana (December 1994), Cape Verde (December 2007), Maldives (January 2011), Samoa (January 2014), Equatorial Guinea (June 2017) and Vanuatu (December 2020).
According to UNCTAD, debt servicing in least developed countries rose to $27 billion in 2021. This is a 37 percent increase from the previous year’s $20 billion.
According to the UN agency, ‘least developed countries are not only spending more on debt service than on health or education. Rather, on average they are spending almost twice as much on debt as on health. Multiple global crises, climate emergencies, rising debt burdens, dependence on commodities and declining foreign investment in LDCs have strained their economies. These issues jeopardize their progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, including a low-carbon transition.’
The UN agency noted that financing needs for least developed countries encompass broader economic and social challenges beyond climate concerns. A lasting, multilateral solution to the debt crisis of these countries is essential. They need development and climate finance.
Africa (33): Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi Mali, Mauritania , Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia.
Asia (9): Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Nepal, Timor-Leste and Yemen.
Caribbean Region (2): Haiti.
Pacific Region (3): Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.