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

The programme is demand-driven, with LDCs acting to make trade work for national economic prosperity.

Partnership approach

EIF is a unique trade for development partnership that avoids duplication and maximizes synergies to lift people out of poverty.

Financing at Scale

The programme provides catalytic support for countries to seek additional support, leveraging millions in increased funding over the last 10 years.


With a strong emphasis on results, accountability and transparency, the EIF ensures its projects are effective, efficient and make an impact.


Through research and insights from in-country experience, EIF helps LDCs exchange and access expertise to stimulate trade and increase incomes.

Sustainable Development Goals

EIF's work to support inclusive trade for poverty reduction is integral for SDG achievement, and the programme is specifically noted in SDG 8.

“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.