ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Transparency International recently released its 2018 index which highlights Denmark and New Zealand as the most transparent countries in the world while Iraq remains near the bottom of the list as the 12th most corrupted state.
The index, which ranks 183 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt, and 100 is very clean.
Over two-thirds of the countries scored below 50 on this year’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI), with an average score of just 43.
While there are exceptions, the data shows that despite some progress, most countries have failed to make serious inroads against corruption.
The top countries are Denmark and New Zealand with scores of 88 and 87, respectively. The bottom nations are Somalia (10), Syria (13), and South Sudan (13).
Iraq is 168 on the list of 180 different places in total with a score of 18, sharing the same CPI with Venezuela.
Fifteen years after the fall of the dictatorship system in Iraq, the country continues to suffer from high corruption in government institutions. People in central and southern provinces often protest to demand an end to corruption, as well as the provision and improvement of public services, including clean water, electricity, and higher employment rates.
“Corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are weak and, as we have seen in many countries, where undemocratic and populist politicians can use it to their advantage,” Delia Ferreira Rubio, the Chair of Transparency International, explained.
According to the organization, in the last seven years, only 20 countries significantly improved their CPI scores, including Estonia, Senegal, Guyana, and Ivory Coast. Equally troubling, 16 countries significantly decreased their scores: Australia, Chile, Malta, Hungary, and Turkey.
Patricia Moreira, a Managing Director at Transparency International, underlined that “corruption chips away at democracy to produce a vicious cycle.”
“Corruption undermines democratic institutions and, in turn, weak institutions are less able to control corruption.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany