Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs) - List for 2018

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

The new list of the LIFDCs stands at 51 countries, one country less than in the previous list, but with some changes in the composition. Three countries have graduated out of the list: Nigeria, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea. Nigeria and Papua New Guinea graduated based on income criterion, while Pakistan graduated based on the net food-exporter criterion. Two countries: Congo and Viet Nam have been added to the list, for not meeting the three criteria for exclusion.

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 first year
  • 2. Exceeds the WB income threshold for the second consecutive year



The classification of a country as low-income food-deficit used for analytical purposes by FAO is traditionally 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 IDA assistance and for 20-year IBRD terms, applied to countries included in World Bank's categories I and II. The 2018 LIFDC list is based on the GNI for 2016 (estimated by the World Bank using the Atlas method) and the historical ceiling of USD 1 905 for 2016. The second criterion is based on the net food trade position (i.e. gross imports less gross exports) of a country averaged over the preceding three years for which statistics are available, in this case from 2014, 2015 and 2016. 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 individual commodities. Thirdly, the self-exclusion criterion is applied when countries that meet the above two criteria specifically request FAO to be excluded from the LIFDCs category.

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", would postpone 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 off the list in the fourth year, after confirming a sustained improvement in its position for three consecutive years.