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Publication | 9 December 2020

The Least Developed Countries Report 2020

Global Food and Nutrition Security

LDCs are suffering more from the negative economic impact of COVID-19 than from its health effects. The COVID crisis will lead LDCs to their worst economic performance in 30 years. It is expected a 2.6 per cent reduction in per capita income in LDCs in 2020, with 43 out of 47 LDCs experiencing a fall in their average income levels. Extreme poverty in LDCs will rise to 35% as a result of the COVID crisis. Progress towards achievements on nutrition, health and education are being undone by the onslaught of the crisis and makes reaching the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 a more distant prospect.

Under present circumstances, the major economic priorities of LDCs could fall into two time horizons. In the short term, the priority of governments should be to do “whatever it takes” to counter the present recession, support the livelihoods of their citizens, the perennity of their firms and farms, and buttress the activity level of their economy. Second, LDCs need to build resilience, which is understood as the ability of an economy to withstand exogenous shocks and/or their capacity to recover from them.