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developing countries


A label which includes most of the countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Many are predominantly agricultural economies, though Brazil, India, and Pakistan have a well-developed industrial base, and others have rich mineral wealth. They are characterized by very low income per capita (by Western standards), and therefore low savings. Development has often been held back by rapid population growth, crop failure, drought, war, and insufficient demand (at a reasonable price) for their commodities, crops, and goods.


In addition to many bilateral aid agreements, there are the aid programmes of the international agencies, such as the United Nations, Commonwealth Development Corporation, Alliance for Progress, and USAid. There are also many privately-funded charities with aid programmes. Western banks have lent large sums to the developing nations, and overdue debt servicing has proved to be a problem.