?Least Developed Country? status

‘Least Developed Country’ status

News: Bhutan will become the seventh nation to graduate from the United Nations (UN) list of Least Developed Countries (LDC).

What is a Least Developed Country?
 According to the UN, an LDC is defined as “a country that exhibits the lowest indicators of socioeconomic development, with low levels of income, human capital and economic diversification, high levels of economic vulnerability, and a population that is disproportionately reliant on agriculture, natural resources, and primary commodities.”

What are the criteria identified by UN for a country to be classified as an LDC?
 It must have a gross national income (GNI) per capita below the threshold of USD 1,230 over a three-year average.
 It must perform poorly on a composite human assets index based on indicators including nutrition, health and education.
 The country must demonstrate economic vulnerability such as being prone to natural disasters and possessing structural economic constraints.

What does it take for a country to get off the LDC list?
 A nation must have a GNI per capita of at least USD 1,242 for two consecutive triennial reviews in order to meet the income requirement.
 With the help of measures such as education, health, and nutrition, a nation must show that it has improved its human capital in order to achieve the human assets requirement.
 A nation also must show that it has improved its ability to withstand external economic shocks like natural catastrophes or shifts in commodity prices in order to pass the economic vulnerability test.

What are the benefits of having LDC status?
 It helps in certain economic benefits to the listed country.
 LDCs also enjoy duty-free and quota-free (DFQF) access to the markets of developed countries.
 LDCs are also eligible for loans with special terms for development, which include loans with a lower interest rate and a longer repayment time than those given to other nations.

What is Doha Political Declaration?
 The Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) concluded with the adoption of the ‘Doha Political Declaration’ by world leaders.
 The declaration focuses on implementing the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA) — the 10-year plan to put the world’s 46 most vulnerable countries back on track to achieving the UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
 DPoA (2022-2031) consisted of six key focus areas including eradicating poverty, leveraging the potential of science and technology to fight against multidimensional vulnerabilities and to achieve the SDGs, addressing climate change, and environmental degradation, recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and building resilience against future shocks for risk-informed sustainable development.

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