All these extremely fragile and underdeveloped economies have either recently been through a civil war or are suffering from ongoing sectarian or ethnic conflicts. 

Author: Jonathan Gregson
Project Coordinator: Edith Updike

9. Eritrea

Current International Dollars:  1,321 | Click To View GDP & Economic Data

The strategically positioned state of Eritrea has a highly secretive and repressive government, making it difficult to obtain up-to-date economic figures. The one-party state, currently under sanctions from the UN Security Council over the government’s alleged role in the Horn of Africa’s grave security issues, has a poor record on human rights, and hundreds of thousands have fled the country in recent years, many of them hoping to reach Europe. The majority of the population are young, and overall 80% remain dependent upon subsistence agriculture using rudimentary farming methods.  Recurrent drought in the Sahel region makes food security a particular challenge for the country as a whole. There are, however, prospects that mining could bring further economic growth to this seriously under-developed country, with four new mines producing potash, gold, copper and zinc expected to be in operation by 2018. For the present, it remains the ninth poorest country in the world, a slight improvement on last year’s eight position.


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