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Continued support from international agencies

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Sept. 10, 2010) - Samoa has been given another three years of Least Developed Country (LDC) status by the United Nations, meaning it will continue to qualify for a greater level of assistance.

[PIR editor’s note: According to Source Watch, least developed countries are classified based on three criteria’s: low-income, human resource weakness (nutrition, health, education etc…), and economic vulnerability.]

Samoa had initially been required to move to Developing Country status in December this year, but the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, announced the extension this week.

Our correspondent in Apia, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, says the impact of the global economic crisis was one factor in the UN General Assembly’s decision.

"I think having our country being devastated in some part from the tsunami last year was another big evidence for us to prove our case before the UN General Assembly to give us some more years to still be in the LDC list before we are capable of moving to the next step."

The decision means that until the first of January in 2014 Samoa will continue to have access to the cheapest loans and receive the highest level of assistance from international agencies.

Just two of the 35 countries that had been given LDC status have moved to the next level.

They are Botswana and Cape Verde.

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