The report highlights the vulnerability of LDC economies during the COVID-19 crisis and the trade opportunities they were able to leverage despite the pandemic. It describes how the projects led by the EIF have helped LDCs to mitigate the negative impact of the crisis and build their trade capacities.  

The EIF's Executive Director, Ratnakar Adhikari, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the economic vulnerability of LDCs and acts as a reminder of why continuous support is needed to help them leverage trade as an engine for growth and poverty reduction. I am pleased that the EIF was able to help LDCs swiftly respond to the crisis, from helping with the assessment of the impact on tourism in Zambia to supporting the analysis of the potential effects of the crisis on countries graduating from LDC status.”

The EIF directly contributed to the generation of USD 469 million of additional exports from LDCs in the past decade.

From Benin to Zambia, the EIF assisted over 1,900 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in 2020, enhancing their participation in digital trade and securing co-financing for many projects. The EIF has also supported policy makers in Bhutan, Cambodia and Malawi in drafting e-commerce policies and helped ministries of trade create trading opportunities to boost economic recovery.

The report notes that the EIF has successfully implemented the “Empower Women, Power Trade”initiative, with women accounting for over 55 per cent of the beneficiaries of EIF funding. Women-specific issues featured prominently in Cambodia's e-commerce strategy supported by the EIF, and women entrepreneurs benefitted from capacity-building training in The Gambia and Benin.

New contributions from Estonia, Finland and Germany helped raise the total resources allocated to the EIF Trust Fund to USD 141 million in 2020.

The report can be found here.

The EIF is the only multilateral partnership dedicated exclusively to helping LDCs use trade as an engine for growth, sustainable development and poverty reduction. It is a unique global partnership between LDCs, donors and partner agencies, including the WTO, which work together to build trade capacity in LDCs.

More information on the EIF is available here.




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