EIF is the only multilateral partnership dedicated exclusively to assisting Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in their use of trade as an engine for growth, sustainable development and poverty reduction. The EIF partnership of 51 countries, 24 donors and eight partner agencies works closely with governments, development organizations, civil society and academia. Together, we leverage our collective know-how, reach and reputation to tackle the world's most pressing trade-for-development issues.

Why the Eif?

Country Ownership

EIF support is designed to ensure that the programme is demand-driven with the LDCs managing their trade and development agenda.

Partnership approach

Increased coordination between development partners and the LDC governments enables targeted support to address priority needs of the LDCs, avoid duplication and maximize synergies.

Aid for Trade

The only multi-donor global Aid for Trade fund exclusively for the LDCs, the EIF works on the trade-related challenges of the world’s poorest countries, assisting them at every stage of their journey to leverage trade for growth and poverty reduction.

Leveraging and sustainability

Facilitated LDCs’ access to trade-related technical and financial support from donors and agencies, with an additional focus on leveraging other technical and financial resources to sustainably support their trade development agenda.

Evidence-based analysis

Placing a strong emphasis on results, accountability and transparency the EIF is able to ensure the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of its projects.

Sustainable Development Goals

The EIF is specifically mentioned in the SDGs, particularly SDG 8a, and its work will be integral to achieving targets under many of the Goals.

“The EIF is uniquely well placed to help LDCs become better integrated in global markets. It has a track record of generating ownership of the reforms countries need to make, and of facilitating consensus across stakeholders. It has helped to strengthen key governing capacities in LDCs so that trade can be mainstreamed in national development plans.”

Former UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark

“We look at [the partnership between the EIF and UNCTAD] as a learning exercise. It will be important for more efficient use of resources, avoidance of duplications and indeed, setting priorities that are consistent with inclusive prosperity; the key agenda of the post-2015 world that we inhabit today." 

UNCTAD, Secretary General, Mukhisa Kituyi

“The EIF has a primary role in helping LDCs understand what their constraints are to trade. It starts with understanding what your needs are. The EIF helps countries map constraints, map challenges, but it doesn’t stop there. The EIF then moves on to address those challenges.”

ITC Executive Director, Arancha González

Meet our staff

The EIF Executive Secretariat

The Executive Secretariat (ES) for the EIF is tasked with the overall coordination and implementation of the EIF objectives, programme and process, including:

  • Coordinating countries and partners to use the EIF as a framework to deliver on the Results Framework and the Strategic Plan

  • Implementing reform measures based on the Change Management Plan to enhance efficiency and value for money

  • Monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the programme

  • Providing support to the EIF Countries to implement the programme, helping LDCs to leverage resources sustainably and efficiently

  • Strengthening advocacy, partnership, resource mobilization, communications and outreach

The ES is administratively housed in the WTO. It is headed by an Executive Director who is appointed by the Director-General of the WTO in agreement with the EIF Board.