Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs) - List for 2021

This page lists the Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs).

The new list of LIFDCs consists of 47 countries, four less than the previous list. Three countries graduated out of the list based on income criterion – Djibouti, Solomon Islands and Viet Nam, and one country, India, graduated based on the food import criterion.

The following notes refer to the status in the transitional phase, i.e. the country continues to be listed as a LIFDC for one of the following reasons. If the stated position persists beyond three years, the country would be removed from the list:

  • 1. Exceeds the WB income threshold for the third consecutive year


The classification of a country as low-income food-deficit used for analytical purposes by FAO is determined by three criteria. First, a country should have a per capita Gross National Income (GNI) below the "historical" ceiling used by the World Bank to determine eligibility for assistance by the International Development Association (IDA) and for the 20-year IBRD terms, applied to countries included in World Bank's categories I and II. The newly updated LIFDC list is based on the GNI for 2019 (estimated by the World Bank using the Atlas method) and the historical ceiling of USD 1 945 for 2019. The second criterion is the net food trade position (i.e. gross exports minus gross imports) of a country averaged over the last three years for which statistics are available, in this case 2017, 2018 and 2019. Trade volumes for a broad basket of basic foodstuffs (cereals, roots and tubers, pulses, oilseeds and oils other than tree crop oils, meat and dairy products) are converted and aggregated by the calorie content of the individual commodities. Third, the self-exclusion criterion is applied if a country meeting the above two criteria specifically requests to be excluded from the LIFDC category.

Furthermore, in order to avoid countries changing their LIFDC status too frequently – typically reflecting short-term, exogenous shocks – an additional factor was introduced in 2001. This factor, called "persistence of position" postpones the "exit" of a LIFDC from the list, despite the country not meeting the LIFDC income criterion or the food deficit criterion, until the change in its status is verified for three consecutive years. In other words, a country is taken out of the list in the fourth year, after confirming a sustained improvement in its position for three consecutive years.