Four countries — Bhutan, Kiribati, Sao Tome and Principe and the Solomon Islands — would soon graduate out of the Least Developed Country status, a United Nations expert committee has said.
Since the establishment of the LDC classification in 1971, only five countries have exited it so far. The latest four countries would move out as they have increased the national earning power and improved access to health care and education.
Health and education targets; economic vulnerability and gross national income per capita are the major factors that decide the LDC criteria. Countries graduate if they meet two of the three criteria at two consecutive triennial reviews by the UN Committee for Development Policy (CDP).
“This is an historic occasion,” said Jose Antonio Ocampo, chair of the CDP.
Globally, there are 47 LDCs. While the majority, 33, is in Africa, 13 are in the Asia-Pacific region, and one is in Latin America.
Botswana, Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Maldives and Samoa are the countries that exited the grouping.
Besides the latest four Vanuatu and Angola, are already scheduled for graduation over the next three years. Bangladesh, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Myanmar, which have met the graduation criteria for the first time also need to do so for a second time to be eligible for consideration.