Corruption Perceptions Index 2020: Pandemic Exacerbates Corruption Globally

Corruption Perceptions Index 2020 | Transparency International

Corruption Perceptions Index 2020: Pandemic Exacerbates Corruption Globally

The level of corruption is worsening all over the world. Russia slightly improved its position, while the United States – on the contrary

While most countries have made little progress in the fight against corruption over the past decade, the coronavirus pandemic is making the situation even worse. In 2020, the state of corruption around the world is a “grim picture”, according to the authors of the report of the non-governmental organization Transparency International.

Corruption not only undermines the fight against the pandemic, but also contributes to the ongoing crisis of democracy, the organization said in a new annual report on the level of corruption in the world released on Thursday, January 28..

“Corruption in the health sector takes a variety of forms, from bribery and embezzlement of funds to overpricing and nepotism,” the authors of the report write. This reduces the quality of medical care and, as a result, has a negative impact on the health and lives of people. – Corruption, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, continues to undermine the principles of democracy. Countries with higher levels of corruption tend to have the most serious violations of democracy and the rule of law. “.

“COVID-19 is not just a health and economic crisis. This is a corruption crisis. And the one with which we are currently not able to cope, “- emphasizes the head of the board of Transparency International Delia Ferreira Rubio..

The annual Corruption Perceptions Index measures perceived corruption in the public sector in 180 countries, according to experts and businessmen. The index uses a scale in which 100 points means a country very free from corruption, and 0 points means a very corrupt one..

The top ten countries have not changed compared to last year. Denmark and New Zealand still share the top spot with 88 points each. They are closely followed by Finland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland. Norway, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg round out the top ten. Western Europe and the European Union are the best regions in the ranking with an average of 66 points out of 100. The worst region is South Africa with an average of 32 points.

Like last year, two-thirds of countries scored less than 50 points, with an average score of 43 across all countries. “The data show that, despite some progress, most countries still fail to effectively tackle corruption. In addition to low indicators, in almost half of all countries, the corruption index has not improved for almost ten years, ”the report says..

In 2020, the United States received 67 points, which is 2 points less than last year, and dropped two lines in the ranking, taking 25th place. This is the worst result for the country since 2012. If in 2019 some of the problems faced by the country were “threats of the system of checks and balances” and “the growing influence of special interest groups in the government”, then in 2020 the main challenge for the United States was overseeing the distribution of the aid package in connection with the pandemic. $ 1 trillion

Eastern Europe and Central Asia, with an average score of 36, is the second-lowest region in terms of perceived corruption and is particularly vulnerable to rising corruption amid the pandemic, the report’s authors write: “Across the region, COVID-19 has highlighted current governance and structural problems. and widespread corruption and exacerbated social discontent. Some political leaders have used the crisis to strengthen their power, add restrictions to already limited access to information, remove transparency requirements for public procurement rules, and abandon public accountability mechanisms. COVID-19 has provided corrupt and authoritarian leaders with an excuse to reduce oversight of government spending and curtail civil liberties. “.

Among the countries of the former post-Soviet space, the Baltic countries have the best indicators. Thus, Estonia ranks 17th (75 points) and is the only one in the top 20 countries with the best indicators of the level of corruption perception. It is followed by Lithuania – 35th place (60 points) and Latvia – 42nd place (57 points).

Behind the Baltic countries in the ranking are Georgia – 45th place (56 points), Armenia – 60th place (49 points) and Belarus – 63rd place (47 points). They are followed by Kazakhstan – 94th place (38 points), Moldova – 115th place (34 points), Ukraine – 117th place (33 points) and Kyrgyzstan – 124th place (31 points).

Corruption Perceptions Index 2020: Pandemic Exacerbates Corruption Globally
Corruption Perceptions Index 2020: Pandemic Exacerbates Corruption Globally

Russia and Azerbaijan, being in 129th place with 30 points, share this line of the rating with African countries – Gabon, Malawi and Mali. Last year, Russia ranked 137th with 28 points.

The worst positions among the post-Soviet countries are occupied by Uzbekistan – 146th place (26 points), Tajikistan – 149th place (25 points) and Turkmenistan – 165th place (19 points).

Closing the rating are Venezuela and Yemen – 176th place (15 points), Syria – 178th place (14 points), Somalia and South Sudan – 179th place (12 points). Last year, Somalia rounded out the ranking with 9 points in 180th place..

To combat corruption, the authors of the report also put forward a number of recommendations in the field of strengthening oversight institutions, ensuring systems of open and transparent contracts, protecting democracy, expanding civil space and the right to access resources..

For example, anti-corruption and oversight bodies must have sufficient funds, resources and independence to carry out their responsibilities, civil society groups and the media must have an enabling environment to hold governments to account, contracting processes must remain transparent, and data on the expenditure and allocation of resources must be be accessible to citizens, write the authors of the report.

  • Valeria Jegisman

    Voice of America journalist. Prior to that, she worked for international non-governmental organizations in Washington DC and London, in the Russian-language version of the Estonian daily newspaper “Postimees” and as a spokesman for the Estonian Ministry of Internal Affairs. Interests – international relations, politics, economics

Corruption Perceptions Index 2020: Pandemic Exacerbates Corruption Globally

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