Catching Up

What LDCs can do, and how others can help

image of Catching Up
Despite solid gains made during the last decade, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are not keeping pace with other countries and the gap between them and the rest of the developing world has in fact widened. This means that LDCs will have to progress even faster to avoid being left further behind.

In this publication, economist and award-winning author of The Bottom Billion, Paul Collier, suggests a menu of strategic policies around which governments might rally that could help LDCs to reduce this differentiation. He argues that the only actors who can lead this process are the governments of LDCs themselves working together towards clear and well-founded goals.

He emphasises the need for effective change and highlights potential future problems associated with the management of natural resources and the threat of climate change. Implementing the right policies, he argues, is essential if LDCs are to catch up and not become detached from the rest of mankind.




Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have been recognised as a category of states that are highly disadvantaged in their development process and face a disproportionate risk of failing to overcome poverty and other consequences associated with weak human resource capacity and economic vulnerability. To help devise responses to the challenges that they face, the United Nations has hosted three special conferences on LDCs. The first two, held in Paris in 1981 and 1991, and the third, held in Brussels in 2001, adopted programmes of action calling for various measures to be undertaken by the international development community to ameliorate the circumstances of LDCs.


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