Global Index: Corruption Harms Countries’ Ability to Fight Coronavirus
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Global Index: Corruption Harms Countries’ Ability to Fight Coronavirus

The 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released Thursday by Transparency International shows that persistent corruption in some countries is undermining health care systems ability to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, leading to a loss of democratic norms. The index ranked some 180 countries.

The United Arab Emirates achieved the highest spot on the list for countries in the Middle East and northern Africa at 21. This is followed by Qatar at 30 and Israel at 35.  Countries making up the bottom of the list include Libya at 173, Sudan at 174, Yemen at 176, Syria at 178, and Somalia tied for the bottom with south Sudan at 179. Both Lebanon and Iran were placed at 149. Other countries in the area include: Oman at 49, Saudi Arabia at 52, Jordan at 60, Tunisia at 69, Bahrain at 78, Kuwait also at 78, Morocco at 86, Turkey also at 86, Algeria at 114, Egypt at 117, Pakistan at 124, Iraq at 160 and Afghanistan at 165.

Countries that perform well on the index invest more in health care, are better able to provide universal health coverage and are less likely to violate democratic norms and institutions or the rule of law, Transparency International said in a statement.

“COVID-19 is not just a health and economic crisis. It is a corruption crisis. And one that we are currently failing to manage,” Delia Ferreira Rubio, chair of Transparency International said. “The past year has tested governments like no other in memory, and those with higher levels of corruption have been less able to meet the challenge.”

Denmark and New Zealand came in at the top of the list. The index has been published since 1995.

Previous research by Transparency International’s Global Health program found that corruption deprives the global health sector of $500 billion every year.

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