The list of low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs)
was developed by FAO in the late 1970s to assist in
analysing and discussing food security issues. LIFDCs are
currently defined as nations that are:
- poor -- with a net income per person that falls below
the level used by the World Bank to determine eligibility
for IDA assistance. At present, that means that their net
income amounts to less than US$1,395 per person.
- net importers of food -- with imports of basic
foodstuffs outweighing exports over the past three years.
In many cases, particularly in Africa, these countries
cannot produce enough food to meet their all their needs
and lack sufficient foreign exchange to fill the gap by
purchasing food on the international market.
Unless concerted action is taken, things could get worse
for many LIFDCs, where
growth is projected to outstrip gains in food
production, and the liberalization of the grain trade, under
Round Agreement, is likely to increase food prices in
the short term.