UAE, Qatar Best in Region on Corruption List, but Somalia, Syria Among World’s Worst
Global corruption remains unchanged for the last year, according to the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranking 180 countries released Tuesday by Transparency International. This means that anti-corruption efforts have stagnated worldwide, with human rights and democracy also coming under assault, the group said in releasing the year’s figures. The global COVID-19 pandemic also has been used in many countries as an excuse to curtail basic freedoms and sidestep important checks and balances. “In the Middle East and North Africa, the interests of a powerful few continue to dominate the political and private sphere, and the limitations placed on civil and political freedoms are blocking any significant progress,” Transparency International said in a statement accompanying the rankings. The United Arab Emirates ranks highest of all of the MENA countries at 24, down two places from the previous year. It is followed by Qatar, ranked at 31, the same position as last year. Israel is ranked 36 on the index, one spot lower than last year. Countries in the middle of the rankings include Cyprus and Saudi Arabia, 52; Oman, 56; Jordan, 58; Tunisia, 70; Kuwait, 73; and Bahrain, 78; as well as Morocco, 87; Turkey, 96; and Algeria and Egypt, 117. Djibouti came in at 128; Mauritania and Pakistan, 140; Iran, 150; followed by Lebanon at 154; Iraq, 157; and Sudan, 164. Countries rounding out the bottom include war-torn Libya, 172; Afghanistan and Yemen, tying at 174; and Somalia and Syria, both ranked 178. Globally, only South Sudan is ranked lower. The Palestinian Authority does not appear in the rankings.