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The Least Developed Countries Report 2002

Escaping the Poverty Trap

image of The Least Developed Countries Report 2002

The Least Developed Countries Report 2002 is in two parts. The first part reviews recent economic trends and assesses the progress in the 1990s towards fulfillment of development targets contained in the Programme of Action adopted by the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries. The second part, on escaping the poverty trap, is the first analysis of poverty in all the LDCs. It is based on a new set of poverty estimates for LDCs that suggest that extreme poverty may have been under-estimated in the poorest countries, particularly in Africa, and over-estimated in other countries. The Report examines the reasons why extreme poverty is pervasive and persistent in most LDCs, and the implications for the design of poverty reduction strategies and international policy. An important discovery of the Report is the close link between primary commodity dependence and extreme poverty.

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International policies for more effective poverty reduction in the LDCs

Reducing poverty in the LDCs requires action at both the national and the international level. Good national policies are a sine qua non for success in reducing poverty. But good international policies are equally necessary. A good national poverty reduction strategy cannot be fully effective in an adverse international enabling environment. However, significant and sustainable inroads into poverty will certainly follow appropriate and concerted action to tackle both the national and international determinants of poverty in the LDCs. Indeed, joint action is essential to help countries to escape the poverty trap.

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