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The Least Developed Countries Report 1997

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Intended for a broad readership of governments, policy makers, researchers and all those involved with the least developed countries (LDCs) and development policy, this in-depth Report examines economic developments in the LDCs during 1996 and discusses prospects for 1997. It's coverage also includes an examination of: LDCs' external debt; recent economic reforms and performance; agricultural developments and policy reforms; and economies in regress. A statistical annex of basic data is also included.

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Policy reforms and agricultural development in LDCs

Beginning in about the early 1980s, a large number of developing countries embarked on economic reform programmes in response to low and, in many cases, negative rates of economic growth, and unsustainable external and internal economic imbalances. Generically referred to as structural adjustment programmes (SAPs), the reforms have been associated with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The latter in particular has been pivotal in the design and implementation, and funding, of SAPs through conditional lending. Although reform components and timing vary significantly between countries, a common feature is a reorientation of policy towards greater reliance on market forces for allocation of resources.

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