The Fourth World refers to countries and populations that are often excluded from world statistics.
They are the poorest of the poor countries and peoples on the planet.
Currently, there are 49 countries classified by the United Nations as "Fourth World" countries. Most reside in Sub-Saharan Africa (see map below):
These countries are labeled as "Least Developed Countries", or LDC's. According, again, to the United Nations, these nations exhibit the lowest indicators of socioeconomic development and the lowest human development index ratings of all the countries of the world.
LDC's suffer conditions of extreme poverty, ongoing (and widespread) conflict, political corruption and lack of social, economic and political stability. Their governments are often brutal, dictatorial and authoritarian in nature. AIDS, of course, is also a major issue affecting the populations of these countries- particualrily in Africa.
Here is a list of current Fourth World Nations:
AFRICA (33 countries)
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Sao Tome and Principe
ASIA (10 countries)
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
AMERICAS (1 country)
The United Nations has also defined LDC's with the criteria that the 3 year average estimate of gross national income (GNI) per capita in these countries is less than US $750 per year. Other criteria include; human resource weakness (based in indicators of nutrition, health, education and adult literacy) and economic vulnerability (agricultural production, exports of goods and services and natural environmental disasters).
ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE!!!