Rise and Advance
The Maldives is one amongst the only three countries to ever advance from the United Nation’s ‘least developed country’ (LDC) bracket, according to a latest UN report.
The report, which reviewed the development of the world’s 51 poorest countries, said only the Maldives (2010), Cape Verde (2007) and Botswana (1994) have ever graduated from the LDCs list. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his concerns on the findings and said marginalization of the world’s 48 poorest countries points to a future that we cannot afford.
“The structural disadvantage of these economies, weak human assets (education, health, nutrition, etc.), limited physical and institutional infrastructure, dependence on fragile agricultural sectors and a limited range of exports, are at the heart of the continued marginalization of these countries within the world economy,” the report stated.
Economists fear that the Maldives’ progression to the middle income category limits the country’s access to concessional credit, removes certain trade concessions and donor aid. It also risks creating a perception in the donor community that it is less deserving than countries still on the LDC list.
While the Maldives government has previously insisted it has budgeted for the graduation, the Maldives mission to the United Nations also raised the issue at the UN in New York in March this year. Held in partnership with the UN Office of the High Representative for Least Developed, Landlocked and Small Island Countries (OHRLLS), the representatives said that graduating countries like the Maldives still require special financial and technical assistance.
The UN may consider the issue ahead of an annual conference on the world’s least-developed countries in Istanbul later this month.