Accelerated Actions, Interventions Needed for LLDCs Special Challenges: UNECA

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Addis Ababa September 24/2020The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) calls for accelerated actions and interventions towards addressing Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) special challenges with sustained and consistent support.

ECA on Wednesday participated in the annual Ministerial Meeting of Foreign Ministers of LLDCs and highlighted the need for sustained and consistent support to LLDCs on the African continent, according to a press release from ECA.

Executive Secretary Vera Songwe remarked that Africa is home to the majority of the world’s LLDCs which continue to face peculiar trade and development challenges arising from lack of territorial access to the sea and geographical remoteness from international markets.

This state of fact is highly affecting Landlocked Developing Countries quest for economic development, she noted.

“LLDCs suffer from lack of competitiveness of their exports and imports, as well as reduction in the purchasing power of their populations, leaving them worse off in comparison to non-LLDCs,” she added.

“If ever there was a time when multilateralism was needed; it was now, especially as the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic continues to rear its ugly head the world over affecting global supply chains,” the Executive Secretary said.

“We need multilateralism to provide consistent and sustained support for the LLDCs. They have more special needs than non-LLDCs,” said Songwe.

According to her, Africa’s infrastructure deficit, including resultant high costs of logistics, remains a primary constraint to growth.

Regarding energy infrastructure, she said, for example, only 30 per cent of people living in the African LLDCs had access to electricity in 2017, lagging behind all LLDCs and the world.

Thus, Songwe called for accelerated actions and interventions towards addressing the special challenges associated with being landlocked to ensure these countries are not left behind.

UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, on his part said the UN stands ready to support landlocked nations in COVID-19 recovery.

He called on landlocked developing countries to implement six key principles for a climate positive recovery.

These key principles are investing in green jobs and sectors, not bailing out polluting industries, ending fossil fuel subsidies, accounting for climate risks and opportunities in all policy and financial decisions, working together, and leaving no one behind, he explained.