The Least Developed Countries Report 2008

Growth, Poverty and the Terms of Development Partnership

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This report assesses recent trends in growth and poverty in the least developed countries (LDCs), as well as changes in terms of development partnership. It discusses the fact that rapid economic growth in the LDCs has been associated with a slow rate of poverty reduction and slow progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. The report also considers progress towards country-owned development strategies in LDCs and the role of recipient- led aid management policies at the country level as a practical policy mechanism to strengthen country ownership.

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The strong growth performance of the least developed countries (LDCs) as a group has been one of the most encouraging features of the global economy in the current decade. Economic growth since 2000 has been higher than in the 1990s. In 2005 and 2006, there was further growth acceleration and the LDCs together achieved their strongest growth performance in 30 years. Their average growth rate in both these years exceeded the 7 per cent target set by the LDCs and their development partners as a key goal in the Brussels Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001–2010, agreed at the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries in 2001. It is estimated that, in 2007, there was only a slight slowdown, to 6.7 per cent.

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