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Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States


Economic impact of broadband in LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS

NEW The study is available for download in pdf format.

ICTs, LDCs and the SDGs

​The report on ICTs, LDCs and the SDGs: Achieving universal and affordable Internet in the least developed countries is available for download (pdf format)More >

ICT trends in the LDCs

The latest ITU data, including the ICT Facts and Figures, show strong growth in the LDCs. More >

​ICTs help the least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developed countries (LLDCs), and small island developing states (SIDS), to address their specific development challenges. LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS face a number of connectivity barriers: many LDCs have large land areas and rural populations, and are sparsely populated, which makes the roll-out of terrestrial communication infrastructure more difficult. LLDCs lack direct access to the sea and many SIDS have numerous islands and often face high communication costs.

ITU has mainstreamed the needs of the world's most vulnerable countries in all its activities and programmes and develops tailored programmes of assistance in such areas as technology and network development, regulation, capacity building, and emergency telecommunications. It also provides concentrated assistance and helps LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS to fully participate in the information and knowledge society. 

ITU works with many private and public stakeholders, including with the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and the Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS). Through its work, ITU also supports the LDCs in their graduation process.

Least Developed Countries

LDC_homepage.jpgForty-seven (47) countries are categorized as LDCs. Twenty-eight (28) LDCs are located in Africa, six (6) in Arab States, twelve (12) in Asia & Pacific, and one (1) in the Americas. More >

Landlocked Developing Countries


Thirty-two (32) countries are categorized as LLDCs. Sixteen (16) LLDCs are located in Africa, four (4) in Asia & Pacific, eight (8) in CIS, two (2) in Europe, and two (2) in the Americas. More >

Small Island Developing States

SIDS_homepage.jpgFifty-eight (58) small island developing states and territories are known collectively as SIDS. Thirty-eight (38) UN Members SIDS and twenty (20) non UN Member SIDS. Five (5) UN Members SIDS are located in Africa, two (2) in Arab States, fifteen (15) in Asia & Pacific, sixteen (16) in the Americas. More >

Countries in Special Need


Twelve (12) countries are categorized as 'Countries in Special Need', which is based on ITU categorization. These are countries that have gone through periods of armed conflict, civil strife or war and suffered a lot of destruction to their telecommunication infrastructure. More >


Publication 310x111.jpgITU has published reports and other documents on LDCs. ​More >



ITU organizes and co-organizes events including conferences, workshops, and meetings to increase the awareness and identify solutions with industry partners, governments and other stakeholders to address the challenges of the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS. ​More >