Three member states of ESCWA (Mauritania, Sudan and Yemen) are designated as “Least Developed Countries”, a category that acknowledges the structural challenges that prevent countries from achieving sustainable development and enhanced prosperity. Despite shared features such as commodity dependence, vulnerability to external shocks and low rates of capital formation, each country faces specific challenges to building productive capacity for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Sudan and Yemen are also, although to different degrees, affected by conflict. While Sudan is in a post-conflict phase after the civil war and violent events that lead to the separation of South Sudan, Yemen is currently suffering from a civil war initiated in 2015. The impact of armed conflict compounds existing challenges in the creation of sustainable economic and social models that can materialize the Sustainable Development Goals envisaged by the international community. Taking the Istanbul Programme of Action’s objectives as a basis, this technical note assesses the progress of the three ESCWA member state LDCs towards building productive capacity, which is essential to placing them on the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Insufficient progress has been made in this regard; to reinitiate the path towards further prosperity, much more effort must be made in conflict prevention as well as good governance.