Least developed countries

50 years after the creation of the category, FERDI's work on LDCs focuses on the rationale of the category, including improving the identification of LDCs, and the effectiveness of measures taken in their favour.

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Objectives

Identification of LDCs. FERDI’s work focuses on the rationale of the category and the improvement of LDC identification.  The reference book Caught in a Trap, Identifying the least developed countries, published in English in 2009, presents the foundations of the LDC category and argues that they should have a special treatment, because they are poor countries facing severe structural handicaps to their development. Today, FERDI demonstrates that the category, still comprising 46 member countries, keeps its rationale, but its consistency could be strengthened by modernising the criteria used to identify LDCs and enhancing the role that vulnerability could play in these criteria  (Guillaumont P, 2021 :  The Rationale of the Least Developed  Countries Category over Half a  Century).

Assessing the effectiveness of support measures taken in favor of LDCs. The book Out of the trap. Supporting the Least Developed Countries, is the first comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of measures taken in favor of LDCs. It is a collective work with contributions by 10 academics. The book is being revised for a second edition. 

Achievements 2023-2024

Involvement in the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Doha, held in March 2023. FERDI supports the plea of vulnerable countries to adopt a universal, multidimensional and structural vulnerability index.

FERDI is involved in launching the LDC5 Monitor, a coalition of think tanks and institutions from the North and South, providing independent analysis of the Doha agenda’s implementation, especially concerning LDC vulnerabilities. This initiative is supported by Finland and France and approved by UN-OHRLLS. FERDI will specifically monitor the vulnerability of LDCs under this initiative.

The book "Out of the Trap: Supporting the Least Developed Countries" has been reissued with an afterword discussing the impact of recent global crises on LDCs.

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