President Laura Chinchilla believes Costa Rica will be Latin America’s first developed nation. However, she still wants to be considered a “developing country” by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
On Sunday, Chinchilla met with Helen Clark, the UNDP Administrator, to request that Costa Rica remain on the developing country list. According to a press statement from the Presidency Ministry, it is thought that Costa Rica and several other countries are in jeopardy of being removed from the list due to economic and political stability. Costa Rica has received aid from the UNDP since 1973.
The UNDP provides funding and assistance to 177 developing countries to improve human rights protection, promote democratic stability and stimulate economic growth. In 2010, the UNDP donated $5.1 million to Costa Rica.
“The experience and technical ability of the UNDP is essential in areas such as democratic governing, citizen security, improvement of environmental conditions, sustainable development, technology and more,” the statement from the Presidency Ministry read.
While Chinchilla acknowledged that Costa Rica has seen substantial gains, more resources are required to increase the per capita income of the country. According to the World Bank, Costa Rica’s per capita GDP was $6,550 in 2010.
“Costa Rica shouldn’t be penalized for its success in governability and ability to successfully execute public policies,” Chinchilla said. She also added that UNDP funds were still considered necessary given the current national fiscal deficit and international economic uncertainty.
The statement from the Presidency Ministry said that Clark would consider Chinchilla’s request.