For use of information media - Not an official record
UNCTAD/PRESS/MA/2020/023
Media Alert - Covid-19 worsens extreme poverty in the 47 least developed countries

Geneva, Switzerland, 26 November 2020

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.

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 3 December 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.

Journalists with access to the UNCTAD virtual newsroom may download the full text of the study as well as the press release.

Access to the virtual newsroom requires a password. To obtain one, please fill out the online form.

After the lifting of the embargo, documents related to the report will be available on the main UNCTAD website.

For further information or to request interviews with UNCTAD experts, please contact the UNCTAD Press Office (+41 22 917 5549/5166/5828, [email protected]).