World leaders are gathered in Doha, Qatar to offer international support for the poorer countries, the majority of which are from Africa.
The leaders are in the Arab state for the fifth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs), a four-day event that is expected to end on March 9, 2023.
The United Nations took the stage to call for the revitalization of support for these LDCs which are today struggling to service their debt and are already grappling with severe structural impediments to sustainable development and are highly vulnerable to economic and environmental shocks
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said these countries need at least $500 million to overcome debt distress in what he said is due to the rawest of deals that have been arising from the wealthy nations for their own interests.
In the case of Somalia, Uganda, and South Sudan among others, have for instance, found themselves stranded amid a rising tide of crisis, uncertainty, climate chaos, and deep global injustice, in what Guterres said the wealthy nations must pay for it.
Guterres said these states have been spending 20 percent of their revenues for debt service and are forced to pay eight percent more compared to the wealthy nation while sourcing for credit from multilateral lenders.
“Today, 25 developing economies are spending over 20 percent of government revenues solely on servicing debt,” said Guterres as he slammed the rich for causing the problem for their own benefits.
To achieve the UN’s SDGs, the UN chief said three deliverables must be implemented to salvage the sorry state of LDC.
These will include revolutionary support in sealing loopholes for tax cheats and illicit financial inflows and 0.15 to 0.20 percent of Gross National Income (GNI) for official development Assistance (ODA) from developed countries.
“I call upon development partners to support the implementation of these deliverables and achievements of the DPoA targets,” he added.
There are currently 46 economies designated by the United Nations as the least developed countries (LDCs), entitling them to preferential market access, aid, special technical assistance, and capacity-building on technology among other concessions.
Out of these 33 are from Africa namely Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Lesotho.
Others are Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Zambia.