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Pandemic worsens poverty in over 40 least developed countries: UNCTAD

Geneva: The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the least developed countries (LDCs) so hard that they will this year register their worst economic performance in 30 years, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said on Wednesday.

Up to 32 million people in these countries could be pushed into extreme poverty in 2020 due to falling income levels, widespread employment losses and widening fiscal deficits.

UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report 2020 to be launched on Thursday says efforts to rebuild the economies of the world’s poorest nations post-pandemic will fall significantly short unless their productive capacities are drastically improved.

UNCTAD believes LDCs are the litmus test of the UN’s sustainable development goals: if they are to succeed globally, they will need to be achieved in the LDCs.

This year’s report is a wake-up call to the international community to invest, finance, support and help LDCs overcome their vulnerabilities, starting from building and improving their productive capacities, a key element of the transformation of their economies.

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