7 Jul 2006

UN plans Developing Country status for Vanuatu, Samoa, Kiribati and Tuvalu

3:17 pm on 7 July 2006

Vanuatu has been earmarked to be raised to Developing Country status from its current Least Developed Country status by the United Nations.

The Daily Post reports that the UN Committee on Development Planning has also included Samoa, Tuvalu, and Kiribati as countries eligible for graduation.

At the UN LDC Conference held in West Africa early this month it was decided that Vanuatu was likely to qualify to move from LDC status by 2013 as a result of consistent and positive growth in the economy.

LDCs are defined as the World's poorest nations under UN's standing and call for special treatment, particularly in terms of trade and aid to support their development priorities.

The benefits of being in the LDC group include eligibility for the US Millennium Challenge Account Fund - Vanuatu has just started a five year programme with the fund in which it will receive 66 million US dollars.

Meanwhile, the committee has recommended Papua New Guinea be dropped back to LDC status due to its comparatively poor performances in human, economic and social indices.