News / Economy

UN: Reconsider Economic Approach for Least Developed Countries

FILE - A homeless child repairs a shoe along a street in the in capital Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, June 2013.
FILE - A homeless child repairs a shoe along a street in the in capital Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, June 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Marthe van der Wolf
— A new United Nations report says the world’s poorest countries should reconsider their economic policies, because they are not creating jobs for the masses.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development is warning that current economic policies will not significantly reduce poverty, because no jobs are created for the masses.

The UNCTAD 2013 Least Developed Countries report released Wednesday predicts social unrest and international mass emigration will be the consequences if the employment situation in these countries is not improved.
 
Taffere Tesfachew of UNCTAD said a new economic approach is needed. “We are not questioning growth and growth matters very much, it is absolutely critical. Nobody is changing their views on the need for growth. But it think the question is - perhaps there is a way to grow and create employment, and there is a way you grow you do not create employment. The policies followed by many least developed countries and those especially that did not create employment while there is a need to create employment.”

Development partners like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have mainly advocated macro-economic stability and liberalization policies for poor and undeveloped countries. But this approach has failed to generate many jobs, even during the economic boom from 2002 to 2008, when many least developed countries experienced an average annual growth of eight percent or higher.
 
According to the United Nations there are 49 "least developed countries." Thirty-four are African, along with nine in Asia, five in the Pacific and one in the Caribbean.

Almost all of these countries face rising numbers of new entrants to the labor market, with the youth population looking for jobs expected to rise to 300 million by 2050.

Taffere said countries should invest in labor-intensive industries such as manufacturing to create jobs for the millions of unemployed. “We really believe that infrastructural transformation, countries that are moving, jumping from agriculture to services, bypassing manufacturing, I think they will have a problem.  The manufacturing sector, the industrial sector, particularly manufacturing, is I think critical for countries with large population, for countries with large demand.”

A country is considered an LDC when the per capita income is below $992 on a three-year average, by the economic vulnerability of a nation, and by its score on the Human Assets Index that looks at factors such as health, nutrition, school enrollment and literacy rates.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7217
JPY
USD
102.17
GBP
USD
0.5949
CAD
USD
1.1009
INR
USD
60.326

Rates may not be current.