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A Tragedy Is Unfolding in the Poorest Countries

The world’s 28 poorest countries are facing growing social, economic, and political distress, owing to rising debt burdens, diminishing development prospects, and chronic underinvestment. The world’s wealthier countries have chosen exactly the worst moment to become less generous with aid and development assistance.

WASHINGTON, DC – The poorest countries are in desperate straits, and the rest of the world is looking the other way. Doing so comes easy, because low-income countries (LICs) matter little to the fate of the world in the near term. At the end of June, the combined GDP of the 28 countries in this group was roughly $500 billion – a drop in the $100 trillion ocean that is the global economy. The world’s poorest countries are also nobody’s ideal export markets: the average annual income is barely $1,000, and conflict and instability are the norm for about half.