Enabling the Graduation of LDCs: Enhancing the Role of Commodities and Improving Agricultural Productivity
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The Fourth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) took place in Istanbul (Turkey) in May 2011 and adopted the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for LDCs for the Decade ...
The Fourth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) took place in Istanbul (Turkey) in May 2011 and adopted the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for LDCs for the Decade 2011–2020. The overall question is how can as many LDCs as possible graduate from the LDC category, given the immense socioeconomic challenges facing them, especially in the face of excessive fragility and vulnerability to shocks of their growth performance? The present publication, argues that the boom-bust cycle of the 2000s showed in stark terms that natural resources play a crucial role in LDCs’ economic growth, poverty reduction and food security. In this regard, the publication articulates the dangers of excessive dependence of LDCs’ exports on a few commodities where some five product groups dominate the export earnings of these countries during the 1995–2010 period. The publication consists of four broad chapters. The first chapter sets an analytical construct (framework) for meeting the graduation objective, with a succinct analysis of the challenges, opportunities and prospects vis-à-vis the established criteria for graduation. The second chapter provides evidence-based analysis on the impact of the recent multiple global crises on commodity-dependent LDCs, including at household level, together with policy responses. Chapter three examines the food security situation in LDCs in the light of the precipitous decline in agricultural productivity and the immense shock which people in LDCs experienced as a result of the recent global surge in food prices. Finally, chapter four provides policy conclusions and recommendations on how LDCs can realize the potential of their commodities sector to become a lever for the development and structural transformation of their economies.
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