Vanuatu poised to graduate from Least Developed Country status


Vanuatu is scheduled to graduate from the category of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) on 4 December 2020.

It will then be considered a developing country. This is a remarkable achievement for development as only five countries have graduated from this category since 1971. Graduation will bring to the country opportunities and prosperity. It may also pose some challenges. Overcoming these is critical for a smooth transition process and the long-term development prospect of the country.

What are Least Developed Countries (LDCs)?

The United Nations has classified 47 countries as “least developed”. Suffering from severe structural impediments to sustainable development, these countries are home to 1 billion people but account for less than 2 per cent of the world’s GDP and about 1 per cent of global trade in goods.[1]They are commonly identified based on the levels of income per capita, human development and economic vulnerability to external shocks.

Is Vanuatu an LDC? What does being an LDC mean?

Vanuatu and three Pacific peers (Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu) are classified as LDCs. Vanuatu has been an LDC since 1985. LDCs are globally recognized as countries that struggle with sustaining human and social development. To foster their development, they receive special attention of the international community. Thus, they are entitled to receive several benefits called the international support measures (ISMs), such as access to development finance, trade and market access, technology transfer, and technical assistance. Read more.