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Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDC) - List for 2015

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

The new list of the LIFDCs stands at 54 countries, one less than in 2014 list but with some changes. These are: the Republic of Congo, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, which all graduated out based on income criterion (for the Philippines in particular this is part due to the World Bank revision of income data). The 2015 list of LIFDCs now also includes South Sudan, for which data had previously been unavailable, and Syrian Arab Republic, which had previously been taken off the list, but now fails to satisfy the tree criteria for exclusion.


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 2014 LIFDC list is based on the GNI for 2011 (estimated by the World Bank using the Atlas method) and the historical ceiling of USD 1 945 in 2011. The second criterion is based on the net (i.e. gross imports less gross exports) food trade position of a country averaged over the preceding three years for which statistics are available, in this case from 2009 to 2011. 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 to be excluded from the LIFDC 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.

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 reason. 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
  • 3. Exceeds the WB income threshold for the third consecutive year
  • 4. Net exported for the 1st year