Corruption in this case can be defined as the use of power by the government administration for the purpose of gaining illegitimate private gains and it can take on many forms. Irrespective of the legislation and jurisdiction, some forms of corruptions, such as nepotism, trading in influence, bribery, extortion, patronage, so on and so forth remain the same in all countries.
In parts of Asia, Europe and North America, political and institutional corruption are frowned upon and punished by the law, as they are perceived as means to impede the development of a country in all areas of activity (economic, social, health, public safety, education, trade unions, civil rights, etc). Now that we understand the impact of corruption over a country, let’s review the top 10 list of corrupt countries across the world.
Grinded by civil war and overwhelmed with famine due to draughts for years in a row, the corruption of Somalia exceeds all expectations. In fact, as one UN reporter stated the best phrase to characterize Somalia’s officials is: “So, what’s in for me?”. From pirates who attack ships and take hostages to the rampant thefts from the public funds and international donations, the current government of Somalia practically left one third of its population dependant on aids for food.
The decades of military dictatorship, the systematic repression of the democratic opposition and unimaginable political violence have all overshadow any shroud of potential that Myanmar had to function as an independent country. The nation is rich in natural resources and has the capacity to compete economically; however, it is the same natural resources that held are responsible for the administrative and governmental corruption Myanmar experiences these days. Not to mention the fact that the constant violation of the human rights threw the country in political isolation.
There is nothing like a devastating natural disaster to reveal the corruption of a country. Following the regretful earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010, several disturbing truths have made their way to the surface and showed that the administration only cares about its own interest. The improperly constructed buildings are one thing, but the thefts of the post-earthquake aids performed by the government have shocked the entire globe.
Considering that poverty goes hand in hand with corruption, it is no surprise that Afghanistan – the poorest country in the world – is currently facing this issue. The oppressive and authoritarian Taliban regime and constant civil revolts in the past decades have severely impacted the agriculture and naturally, paved the way for corruption. Now that the US has decided to pull out the troops from Afghanistan over the next years, one can only imagine what will happen to the people who will be left at the mercy of such a corrupt government.
The overthrowing and execution of former dictator Saddam Hussein represented a great chance for Iraq to get back on its feet and develop into a true competitor in the world’s economy. However, even though the reins of the country were transferred to a democratic Iraqi government, nothing has really changed there. The current “democratic” government is so entrenched in corruption that they threaten and intimidate anyone who does not agree with them. As a side note, rumor has it that the new government did not even bother to rebuild the country’s infrastructure, which was destroyed during the war for capturing Saddam Hussein.
As the recent scandals in Eastern Europe pointed out, ex-Soviet Union member countries are haunted by Communist shadows that are still doing their best to control the justice, media, legislation and keep getting elected through fraud. This is also the case of Uzbekistan: despite the fact that it is the fastest growing country in its region and relies on a strong economy based on production of cotton, gold, uranium, petroleum and natural gases, the independent sector is practically inexistent or controlled by a strict and corrupt government.
Even though Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are considered the fastest growing countries in Central Asia, they also occupy the top positions in terms of corruption worldwide. At this point, Turkmenistan is the most oppressive country on Earth when it comes to human rights, freedom of speech and press freedom. In addition, similar to states from the Soviet Union block, citizens face severe punishments and there are several inexplicable restrictions whenever they try to leave the country. All that, in spite of the fact that Turkmenistan has been making an effort to open up the borders since 2006.
8. North Korea
As with any communist country, in North Korea the least thing you can expect is transparency. Essentially, the only way you can manage to live somewhat quietly and undisturbed in this country is to have sufficient money to pay off bribes to various officials (as reported by refugees who managed to flee the country like this). From driving permits, consents to leave your own town and authorizations to run market food stalls to traffic with narcotics, illegal weapons sales and counterfeit bills, everything is about making more money in North Korea.
The civil war in Syria revealed a shocking truth: there is no grey area there, if you do not agree with the current political regime, then it means you are against it and consequentially silenced. What is interesting in the case of Syria is how the actual regime managed to survive for almost 40 years in power: the people were willingly sacrificing their rights and need in order to protect the country from the alleged “real danger” that threatened Syria from outside the borders. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Sudan is perhaps the most unfortunate country on the planet: with no natural resources and no infrastructure, the country is not only among the poorest states in the world, but it is also governed by corruption. Leaving the fact that the ex-president has been condemned for crimes of war and genocide aside, the current Sudan leaders have a hard time explaining the use (and obviously disappearance) of the public money.