Less-Developed Countries (LDC)
LDCs, Least Developed Countries, are countries classified by the United Nations as low-income countries confronting severe structural impediments to sustainable development. They are highly vulnerable to economic and environmental shocks and have low levels of human assets. As of February 2021, there were 46 LDCs, of which 33 were in Africa. The UN’s LDCs have exclusive access to certain international support measures, in particular in the areas of development assistance and trade. In financial markets, LDCs – Less Developed Countries – were a group of countries (predominantly in Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe) that suffered severe sovereign debt crises from 1982 through the 1990s in a period known as the LDC Debt Crisis, which led to a series of debt reschedulings and restructurings where bank loans extended by US, European and Japanese banks were converted over time into new loan instruments and bonds. The creation of these instruments led to the establishment of an active trading market.