Transparency International Corruption Index Released

The nonprofit Transparency International (TI) released its annual report ranking corruption in countries across the world on Tuesday, NPR’s “The Two-Way” blog reports (Sutherland, 10/26).   

The Perceptions of Corruption Index ranks 178 countries on a “scale of 10 (low corruption) to 0 (highly corrupt),” IRIN writes. Nearly three-quarters of the countries measured scored below five. “Many fragile states, with a legacy of conflict, fare worst. The bottom 10 scorers in the index are: Somalia, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Sudan, Chad, Burundi and Equatorial Guinea,” the news service writes.

Following the launch of the index, Christiaan Poortman, Transparency International’s director, said, “Corruption is a tax, and adds to the overall bill of development efforts – the percentage of resources could be as high as 20 or 30 percent.” He added, “It will hamper the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.”

“Research by TI into corruption in the water sector estimates in some countries that 30 percent of funds are siphoned off. Similar figures are emerging for construction. ‘Corruption also means quality in these sectors goes down – so in construction, the quality of the buildings will be poorer … They would collapse in the next earthquake. It really can be a matter of life and death,’ Poortman added,” IRIN reports (10/27).

To address challenges associated with corruption, “governments need to integrate anti-corruption measures in all spheres, from the responses to the financial crisis and climate change to commitments by the international community to eradicate poverty,” according to a press release (.pdf) from the organization, which notes that TI recommends “stricter implementation of the U.N. Convention against Corruption” (10/26).