ESCAP countries with special needs


Thirty-six countries in the Asia-Pacific region are least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) or small island developing States (SIDS). Collectively referred to as “countries with special needs,” these are the most vulnerable countries in the region due to their geographic isolation from world markets as well as the structural challenges that result from and perpetuate their low levels of development. Such challenges pose severe impediments to poverty reduction and the effective pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Global programmes of action

The Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) articulates a vision and strategy for the sustainable development of LDCs for the decade 2011-2020 focusing on a strengthening of productive capacities.

The Vienna Programme of Action for LLDCs (VPoA) focuses on the development and expansion of infrastructure, enhancement of competitiveness, expansion of trade, structural transformation, regional cooperation, and the promotion of inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.

The SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA Pathway) reaffirms commitments to take urgent and concrete action to address the vulnerability of SIDS. It also underscores the urgency of finding additional solutions to the major challenges facing small island developing States in a concerted manner through a multi-stakeholder approach centered on genuine and durable partnerships.


Our work

The Countries with Special Needs Section under Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division of ESCAP provides dedicated support to the Asia-Pacific countries with special needs through capacity-building activities to enable policymakers to develop integrated approaches, in addition to knowledge products and tools aimed at overcoming challenges in their pursuit of sustainable development. The Section also supports these economies by ensuring that their voices are heard in global forums and that the development challenges they face are given due consideration in global processes.