The EIF provides tailored support to the 51 poorest countries in the world.

In its first phase, the EIF provided support for 134 projects with a total allocation of US $200.6 million. These projects have helped create the kinds of jobs that lift people, particularly women and youth, out of poverty. The EIF's unique approach guarantees full LDC ownership and the majority of EIF projects are co-financed by the LCDs themselves.

Our approach

The EIF delivers four broad types of interventions, designed to assist an LDC at every stage of integrating trade into its development strategy.


Pre-DTIS projects build the foundation before an LDC can identify and begin tackling its trade challenges. This includes sensitizing national stakeholders about the importance of mainstreaming trade.

The Pre-DTIS brings stakeholders into the process early, ensuring ownership and buy in. It also begins to set up a national architecture within which all stakeholders and all donors operating nationally can coordinate.

Learn more about how to apply for a Pre-DTIS project

Guidelines ›

Analytical Work

The main analytical studies coordinated by the EIF are the Diagnostic Trade Integration Studies (DTIS) and the Action Matrices. The DTIS and Action Matrices are evidence-based analyses that underpin priority identification needed to guide the trade agenda and the Aid for Trade needs of LDCs. These analytical studies help LDCs determine their biggest constraints to trade integration, prioritize actions to address them accordingly and serve as a basis for the development community to provide trade-related support.

EIF’s analytical work provides an opportunity for partner agencies and in-country stakeholders to harmonize efforts in support of poverty reduction, inclusive growth and sustainable development.

Institutional Support

By supporting national implementation arrangements, the EIF assists with the creation of National Implementation Units which coordinate the delivery of an LDC's Aid for Trade Strategy. These units become integral to the Government Operations around challenging Aid for Trade to where it can have the most impact (according to the DTIS).

Learn more about how to apply for a Institutional Support projects

Guidelines ›

Learn more about how to apply for a Productive Capacity Building projects

Guidelines ›

Productive Capacity Building

Through Productive Capacity Building projects the EIF leads by example, identifying projects within the Action Matrix where a catalytic injection of funds could be leveraged into a disproportionate impact.

Our unique contribution

Ldc Focus

The EIF is the only multi-donor global Aid for Trade fund exclusively for LDCs.

Ldc Ownership

The EIF is structured around an ironclad belief that in order to be sustainable, improvements in an LDC's trading environment must flow from the positions of the LDC governments themselves.

Global Mandate Local Legitimacy

The EIF has consistently been cited as a program of singular importance to LDCs. Leaders and Ministers noted its importance and work by name in every major recent outcome document, including the SDGs.

Bringing Actors Together

The EIF brings the high level engagement required to bring various stakeholders around the table, and the financial and technical assistance required to support their coordination once they get there.