Arab Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Skip to main content

Arab Least Developed Countries (LDCs)



Least developed countries (LDCs) around the world are characterized by low per capita income, poor social and human development and, frequently, disadvantageous geographical locations. Three member States of ESCWA are ranked as LDCs: Mauritania, the Sudan and Yemen. The latter two are also plagued by conflict and not expected to meet the Istanbul Programme of Action graduation criteria from the LDC category any time soon. Attempts by the Governments of the Sudan and Yemen to establish robust systems of governance that would make their economies more resilient have been hampered by conflict and external shocks such as the global financial, food and oil price crises. Weak human, technological and institutional capacities, a lack of domestic resources and inequality together induce a vicious cycle of low productivity and investment and limited technology transfer.

ESCWA carries out an annual review of implementation of the Plan of Action in member LDCs and advocacy work for them in partnership with other United Nations agencies, civil society, media, academia and the private sector.