Special Body on Least Developed, Landlocked Developing and Pacific Island Developing Countries

27 May 2015
Bangkok, Thailand

The group of 31 countries with special needs (CSN) in the Asia-Pacific region is comprised by least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). These countries are home to more than 380 million people, a quarter of the total population of the Asia-Pacific developing countries excluding China and India. Their economies are marked by persistent structural challenges, fluctuating growth and dependence on a limited number of commodities or low-wage manufactured products for export earnings. These countries have experienced limited structural transformation and the impact of growth on employment creation and poverty reduction has been limited.

Countries with special needs have lagged behind in progressing towards achieving the MDGs. Areas of particular concern are reducing deaths among young children and mothers, improving sanitation and providing universal primary education. Socioeconomic development remains constrained by many factors including limited productive capacities, remoteness and isolation from the world markets, and high trade costs. These countries are also the most vulnerable to natural disasters making economic growth and poverty reduction a far greater challenge.