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How global corruption has ‘bloomed’ during the Covid-19 pandemic

Urgent measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 have “allowed corruption to go unchecked” in countries around the world, according to a newly released report.

Researchers at Transparency International (TI) found that more than 130 countries “have made no significant progress in fighting corruption over the past decade” and that the health crisis is unfolding. has been “used in many countries as an excuse to curtail fundamental freedoms and important checks and balances”.

According to the latest annual report of the Berlin-based organization Corruption Perception Index (CPI), “Two-thirds of countries score below 50, indicating they have a serious corruption problem, while 27 are at their lowest score ever.” ONE “The disturbing new normal is rapidly being established,” alert anti-corruption coalition, as “transparency and accountability measures ignored or rolled back during the Covid-19 pandemic remain unchecked”.

‘Business interests’

The findings outlined in the report suggest that corruption “evolved” last year, with the pandemic providing “a perfect shield – and sometimes an unexpected business benefit – for politicians corrupt politicians”, said PoliticoBrussels’ books.

“Even historically high performers are showing signs of decline,” according to Transparency International.

As anti-slip measures “stagnant” in countries around the globe, “human rights and democracy are also under attack,” the report said. Protecting these rights “is vital in the fight against corruption”, with “countries with well-protected civil liberties often scoring higher” in the index.

Finland, Denmark and New Zealand are ranked first as the least corrupt countries. But only Finland’s scores improved, while countries including Switzerland, Hong Kong, Austria, Canada, Australia, Belgium and Spain dropped their ratings.

South Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Venezuela and Yemen ranked among the top five most corrupt countries.

The UK is the 11th least corrupt country out of 180 countries, with a rating of 78 – up one point from the previous year – despite headlines about inconsistencies in the government PPE contracting process.

Europe

The report said Western European member states and the EU were continuing to “struggle with transparency and accountability in their response to Covid-19, threatening the region’s clean image”. Across Europe, Awareness of corruption remains stagnant in most countries.

However, Slovenia has hit a historic low. MEP Daniel Freund told Politico: “The deterioration in Slovenia is worrisome but not surprising. Prime Minister Janez Jansa “doesn’t hide” the fact that he is of the opinion Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban Freund added.

Weak regulations on PPE procurement during the pandemic are believed to have increased public perception that corruption is rampant in EU member states. Vice President of the European Commission for Values ​​and Transparency, Vera Jourova has described corruption as “a cancer for democracy”.

“It erodes people’s trust, it creates the perception that some people are more equal than others,” she told the website. “The Transparency International report shows that in many member countries there is room for improvement and the committee stands ready to assist them in anti-corruption reforms.

“An effective fight against corruption requires that all elements of the democratic system be sound, including the independent media and the judiciary. This is why we are looking at all of these aspects in our annual rule of law report.”

Middle East

The index report says that in the Middle East and Africa, “the interests of the few” have continued to “dominate the political and private spheres”, due to “restrictions placed on freedoms and rights”. civil and political causes” as a result of the pandemic bloc “Any significant progress”.

Countries across the Middle East reported similar levels of corruption through 2020. But already low public confidence means few states rank highly in the latest index.

Katherine Hattar, Middle East and North Africa Regional Advisor at Transparency International.

She added: “Not a single country has improved significantly since 2012. Political elites and private interests in turn overtake the public interest to benefit themselves and maintain the regime. autocratic degree.

Africa

Corruption rates in African countries stagnated last year, with most countries continuing to rank low in the rankings. Transparency International’s partner in South Africa, Beware of Corruptionwarned in 2020 of “an increasing number of reports of corruption related to the Covid-19 pandemic” in the country.

Africa News reported last year that countries across the continent had been affected by “continued theft of Covid-19 response funds,” including “the theft of cash and other incentives aimed at prevent the impact of the epidemic”.

Police in Malawi “arrested 64 people in April in connection with the misuse of Covid funds”, the site continued, and “investigation conducted by a Kenyan journalist revealed in 2020 acts of misconduct and misuse of funds for Covid-19”.

But despite calls to action, “nothing has changed in South Africa”, with “theft, overvaluation and potential fraud“Among many” scandals related to the Covid-19 fund “.

Asia

Along with Eastern Europe, Asia remains the second-worst performing region in the rankings, with an average score of 36. The scores of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan dropped, while those of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia all improved.

Corrupt leaders in the region have “reduced oversight of government spending and curtailed civil liberties” during the pandemic, Radio Free Europe reported last January.

“Some political leaders have used the crisis to limit access to information, remove transparency requirements from public procurement rules and abandon public accountability mechanisms.” , report for index 2020.

Americas

The latest index report said the US recorded no change in score, while Canada dropped 3 points amid “increasing risks of bribery and corruption in business”.

The authors cited the publication Paper Pegasus evidence shows that Canada is “a hub for illicit financial flows that fuel transnational corruption in the region and around the world.”

Argentina dropped the most points among South American countries. The four-point drop was followed by a series of accusations about what International Private Enterprise Center described as “political disruption” and “systemic corruption”.

https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/world-news/955531/how-global-corruption-flourished-during-pandemic How global corruption has ‘bloomed’ during the Covid-19 pandemic

Fry Electronics Team

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