Health care, literacy, and per capita income are criteria for the UN designating some of the world’s poorest countries (48 in 1995) as ‘least developed’. Africa, Asia and Pacific, and Haiti have the most poorest. Bare-existence agriculture, lack of competitive industries. and few exploitable natural resources are the typical criteria. Droughts, floods, hurricanes, and pests, coupled with little prospect of improvement in economic prospects in the near future translates into certain long-term foreign-aid dependency.

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