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Corruption and Afghanistan

December 5, 2013

Summary:  Transparency International rate Afghanistan against alongside Somalia and North Korea as equally the most corrupt nations in the world – again.  The Asia Foundation opinion poll confirms this as a major concern for the population, right up there with insecurity.

Photos of Afghan maps 006Public Finance International report on the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions index:

The three most corrupt countries in the world are Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia, according to the 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index, published by the Transparency International.

The index, which is based on expert opinions of public sector corruption, ranks countries based on how corrupt their politics, administration and institutions are perceived to be. More than two-thirds of countries around the world scored below 50, on a scale between 0 and 100, with 0 indicating the most corrupt and 100 meaning a very clean government is been run.

Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia all scored 8, this year, with no change from 2012 as the worst performers.   I am not entirely sure how the definitions work – I would have had North Korea down as brutal/barking mad dictatorship, but not necessarily corrupt per se…?

By contrast, Pakistan scores 28, Iran 25, Turkmenistan 17, Uzbekistan 17, Tajikistan 22, the UK 76 and Sweden 89.

The recent (officially out today, more on this later) polling by The Asia Foundation highlights the population’s concern over corruption:

this year corruption was the second most frequently mentioned major problem facing Afghanistan as a whole, right after insecurity. Survey results reveal that Afghans see corruption as a major problem in all facets of life and at all levels of government…The situation in which respondents most frequently encountered corruption in the form of an obligation to pay a bribe is when seeking public healthcare services (38%). Around a third of respondents also report encountering corruption when applying for jobs (31%), interacting with the judiciary/courts (33%), receiving official documents (28%) and in dealing with the Afghan National Police (31%). The lowest experience of bribery is recorded for contact with the Afghan National Army (21%).

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