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.
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

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8836
JPY
USD
118.88
GBP
USD
0.6451
CAD
USD
1.2469
INR
USD
61.751

Rates may not be current.