The EIF partnership of 51 countries, 24 donors and eight partner agencies works closely with governments, development organizations and civil society to assist least developed countries (LDCs) use trade as an engine for development and poverty reduction.

Together, we leverage our collective know-how, reach and reputation to tackle the trade constraints of the world's poorest countries.

The EIF programme is supported by:

  • a Geneva-based Steering Committee that advises EIF stakeholders and serves as a forum for transparency and information exchange, and comprised of all LDC partners, all EIF Donors and EIF Agencies;
  • a Board that serves as the key decision-making body, with strategic, operational and financial oversight, and comprised of three capital-based LDC representatives, three EIF Donor representatives and members from EIF Agencies; and
  • a Multi-Donor Trust Fund managed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) as the EIF Trust Fund Manager.

EIF's unique contribution


EIF works with partner countries to harness trade for economic growth, poverty reduction and sustainable development. We ensure domestic actions are taken to make trade work for economic prosperity, poverty reduction, food security, stability and peace.


We put partner countries in the driving seat and become their co-pilot, guiding them every step of the way. Together we identify sectors with export potential and help countries become more competitive in regional and global markets.


We act as an honest broker and convene key and influential actors – government ministries, civil society groups, donors and private sector – to reinforce partner countries’ capacity to make trade work for development. Together we develop a practical sustainable framework for creating wealth and security.


Over the last 10 years, EIF has invested more than USD 220 million in trade-for-development initiatives with partner countries. We provide catalytic support for countries to seek additional funding from bilateral donors, multilateral development banks and private sector investors. EIF support has leveraged millions in increased national and international funding.

Working in Vulnerable Economies

We provide the intense level of engagement, planning and support required to build economic resilience among the world’s most vulnerable populations. EIF focuses nearly 40% of its work in small island countries and fragile countries.

Exchanging Knowledge and Innovation

We help partner countries exchange and access the knowledge, expertise and technologies that can stimulate domestic markets to move further up global value chains and reduce their supply chain constraints.

“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

"A complementary initiative launched under WTO auspices has resulted in an expansion of development assistance to strengthen trade capacity (‘aid for trade’). This includes the establishment of the Enhanced Integrated Framework to assist Least Developed Countries (LDCs), another significant achievement reflecting a recognition that to benefit from market access opportunities many developing countries need assistance to enhance supply capabilities." 

Report by Bertelsmann Stiftung: Revitalizing Multilateral Governance at the WTO (2018)

“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