Emerging Crises Threaten Development Progress by World’s Least Developed Countries

NEW YORK 22 April 2020 – A new report from the UN Secretary-General assesses development progress made by the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) since 2011, which is threatened by COVID-19 and the global downturn.

In the report, he notes that progress has been made in areas like access to information and communications technology (ICT), sustainable energy, health, education, gender, export concentration and governance. However, the report also says that there has been limited progress on poverty and debt alleviation and economic and export growth.  Climate change impacts have taken a heavy toll. 

The Secretary General’s report calls for addressing barriers to LDCs meeting the Sustainable Development Goals by enhancing their resilience to various shocks, including pandemics. New technologies must be fully harnessed to prevent a deepening of the divide – on broadband, artificial intelligence and blockchain. Attention must be paid to the growing challenge of debt and the high projected growth in the urban and youth populations will need special focus.

As UNOHRLLS prepares for the next Conference on the Least Developed Countries in Doha in 2021, the SG’s report will provide an important input to the preparatory process. Read the full document here.