When reading about politics, you may have come across the word corruption a few times. Corruption is when people in high positions take advantage of their power to commit dishonest acts. Most commonly, corruption involves money or power. For example, a corrupt politician might use money from the government for his personal use. When any country or group is full of corruption, it’s very hard for them to prosper. This is because corruption creates unfair imbalances in funds or power that slow down success for everyone else. Today we’ll be looking at some of the most corrupt countries in the world. Try to see if you can notice a connection between the level of corruption and how prosperous the country is.
List of Corrupt Countries in the World
Somalia, located in Africa, has been found to have the highest rate of corruption in the world. The most common form of corruption in Somalia is called graft – wherein a politician uses his powerful position for his or her personal gain. For example, a politician might request a high budget from the government for a project, then take some of the money for themselves. For the past few years, Somalia has been trying to create more anti-graft policies to cut down on corruption. However, because the country is quite poor, several Somali politicians still use their power in illegal ways in order to have more money.
2. South Sudan
South Sudan has been in the middle of a civil war in the past few years, making it difficult for the government to focus on other issues. As a result, corruption has become more widespread in this African nation. As the world’s second most corrupt country, South Sudan has an ongoing problem with kleptocracy – a word used to describe a government full of corrupt members. There aren’t many measures being taken to solve the problem so most of South Sudan’s economy is still controlled by corrupt individuals or groups.
Most people know that Syria is a tragically war-torn country. Like South Sudan, this has led to big problems with corruption. In 2019, the Syrian government claimed to have recovered around 3 million dollars of stolen money out of the estimated 11 million dollars’ worth of misused government funds, making Syria one of the most corrupt countries. However, most of the Syrian people didn’t believe that their government was telling the truth. Mistrust of the government is unsurprisingly common in countries with high levels of corruption.
Corruption in Yemen was believed to have started growing during the 1990s. The president at the time, Ali Abdullah Saleh, allegedly used his power for personal interests and nepotism. Nepotism is when a person with power uses their position to give their relatives unfair advantages – such as giving them high positions of power just because they’re related. Even after Ali Abdullah Saleh’s resignation, however, Yemen has been continuously struggling with high levels of corruption in its government.
Next country with a high level of corruption is Veneuela. The Venezuelan people have been protesting against the widespread corruption in their government for years. The country has dealt with multiple different forms of corruption throughout its history. These include nepotism and kleptocracy. Government officials have even been accused of helping terrorist groups and the trade of illegal drugs.
The most common form of corruption in Afghanistan is bribery. This is when someone offers money, special treatment, or material possessions in exchange for what they want. For example, a rich or powerful person might bribe a judge to affect their final decision in a case. Though this is a big problem in the country, many citizens also consider corruption a normal part of life in Afghanistan. For example, a survey of locals found that 67% of them found nepotism in the government to be acceptable.
South Sudan’s neighbor, Sudan, is also considered one of the most corrupt countries in the world. In Sudan, much of the corruption happens both in the government and in the business sectors. Besides projects funded by the government, projects by privately owned businesses are also a common target of corruption. This makes it hard for foreigners to trust Sudanese businesses with their money. Corruption is also common in all levels of the Sudanese government. Like in other countries on this list, many Sudanese officials will take money from public funds for their personal gain.
8. North Korea
Despite North Korea’s strict laws, it’s still one of the top 10 most corrupt countries in the world. Some critics of the North Korean government have pointed out how those with connections to the government can break the law because of their power or money. Limited resources such as food, healthcare, and shelter are also more available to those who are willing or able to bribe North Korean officials.
Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world and is also challenged by organized corruption. More than half of its people live in poverty and a quarter of its total population is living in extreme poverty. Corruption in Haiti is considered to be organized crime. This means that many members on all levels of the Haitian government are aware of the ongoing corruption and may even be participating in it. Though Haiti’s level of corruption has lowered in the past few years, it still has a long way to go.
10. Dominican Republic of Congo
The Dominican Republic of Congo, sometimes just known as Congo, was once the most corrupt country in the world. In fact, the word kleptocracy was invented in response to the kind of corruption happening in the nation. As of today, there are still multiple cases of high-ranking government officials using their power for their personal interests instead of the good of the people.
Corruption benefits very few people and harms millions of people every day. Often, corruption grows in countries that have little money or resources – many people want to take more than their fair share because everything is so limited. But corruption is never the answer. In almost all cases, it simply makes things much worse. These struggling countries can serve as a lesson for the rest of the world to do what is right and value fairness and equal rights for their people above all.
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