In its triennial review from February 22-26, 2021, The Committee for Development Policy (CDP) has recommended Nepal’s graduation from the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) status with the preparatory period of five years. This means the graduation of Nepal would come into effect in 2026.
Besides Nepal, Bangladesh and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic have also been recommended for graduation by the CDP.
To determine the LDC status, the CDP follows three criteria, including per capita income, human assets index, and economic and environmental vulnerability index (EVI). Of the three indices, Nepal reached the thresholds the latter two, thus becoming eligible for graduation. Nepal will be eligible for all the LDC-specific support measures until 2026.
Though the standard preparatory period is three years, the CDP has extended the period to five, considering the socio-economic challenges posed by the pandemic and at the request of the Nepali Government.
The preparatory period of five years is given for Nepal to provide adequate time to prepare itself to offset the loss of support measures exclusive to the LDCs and enable a smooth LDC graduation.
The LDC graduation is an essential milestone in Nepal’s development trajectory towards the ambitious ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’ vision and the nation’s development objectives proposed in the 15th Periodic Plan.
However, the recommendation must be endorsed by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which shall then be acknowledged by the UN General Assembly later this year.
Earlier, Nepal had met the graduation criteria for the first time in 2015. However, the CDP, in its 2018 triennial review, recommended deferring the graduation on the request of the Nepali Government owing to the setback on Nepal’s economy by the 2015 earthquake and other disasters in the following years.