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Most of worlds poorest nations stuck in a structural rut: UN
In its annual report on the world's least developed countries, or LDCs, the UN Conference on Trade and Development said that booming economic growth in the 48 nations on its list was having only minor impacts on living standards and the fight against widespread poverty. "The LDC paradox arises from the failure of LDC economies to achieve structural changes despite having grown vigorously as a result of strong export prices and rising aid flows", UNCTAD said. Nearly half of the population in LDCs continue to live in extreme poverty, almost 30 percent of people are undernourished and few are in secure employment, the UNCTAD report said. The value produced annually by the average worker in the LDCs corresponds to just two percent of the value generated by their equivalent in developed countries, the report found. Asian LDCs like Bangladesh and Cambodia, whose economies are dominated by manufacturing, had seen labour productivity swell 3.2 percent annually since the early 1990s, the report found. Of the 48 countries on the LDC list, only one, Laos, appeared to be on track to achieve all seven Millenium Development Goals, which among other things called for halving poverty and extreme hunger by 2015. On average, the LDCs had reduced the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day from 65 percent of their populations in 1990 to 45 percent in 2010. Asian LDCs did a better job, cutting the rate from 64 to 34 percent over the 20-year-period, compared to African LDCs and Haiti, which only saw a drop from 65 to 51 percent.

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