This was the clear message delivered during the launch of the Least Developed Countries Report. The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) face a stark demographic challenge, as their population is projected to double to 1.7 billion by 2050.
The report, focusing on the theme "Growth with employment for inclusive and sustainable development", very clearly underlines the urgent need for job creation.
Many of the LDCs have seen an economic growth of 5 to 6 per cent per year, which is high by the standards of industrialized countries, but under the 7 per cent target deemed necessary to enable poor nations to make substantial reductions in poverty, according to Mr Igor Paunovic, co-author of the report and Economic Affairs Officer at the LDC Section at UNCTAD.
The LDC youth population (aged 15 to 24 years) is expected to soar from 168 million in 2010 to 300 million by 2050, when as many as one in four youths worldwide will live in an LDC, said Mr Paunovic during the report launch at UNRIC in Brussels.
Mr Igor Paunovic
Among the challenges of a decline in economic growth from its almost 8 per cent average during the "boom" years from 2002 to 2008 is how the world's 49 poorest nations will create sufficient employment for the 16 million new entrants into their collective workforce each year.
The LDCs will need to make significant efforts to generate a sufficient quantity of jobs and offer decent employment opportunities to their young population. If this is not achieved, the likelihood is that poverty, social instability and international emigration rates will rise.
Growth in the LDCs has not been inclusive and its contribution to poverty reduction has unfortunately been limited. Creating employment opportunities is critical because it is the best and most sustainable pathway out of poverty.
Forty-nine countries currently are designated by the United Nations as "least developed countries" (LDCs). They are distributed among the following regions:
Africa (34): Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Zambia;
Asia (9): Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Lao People´s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Nepal, Timor-Leste, and Yemen
Caribbean (1): Haiti
Pacific (5): Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
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