How graduation from Least Developed Country status is linked to Lao PDR’s war legacy
Lao PDR has just recently fulfilled, for the first time, the eligibility criteria to graduate from Least Developed Country (LDC) status. It has passed two of the three criteria for graduation: Gross National Income per capita and the Human Assets Index, and has come close to passing the threshold for the Economic Vulnerability Index. This is a remarkable achievement which predicts a bright future for the country and its people – but, at the same time, it is by no means a time to lean back and rest. The level of development needs to be sustained in the coming years for graduation to happen.
The LDC graduation criteria are linked to a significant obstacle to Lao PDR’s development: unexploded ordnance (UXO). Many of the bombs that were dropped on Lao PDR decades ago still lie in the ground, active and treacherous.