2020 Top Twenty Most Corrupt Countries in the world, Nigeria not listed

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In stark contrast to the world’s least corrupt countries, the nations with the highest levels of dishonest dealings appear to be doing very little to tackle the problems, and some are actually perceived to be getting worse.

1. Somalia
Corruption score: 9
For the seventh year in a row Somalia is the world’s most corrupt nation, and the country is even down another point in the 2019 index. Torn apart by rival warlords in the early 1990s, the current government is weak and a climate of lawlessness prevails, with almost every aspect of life in the country sadly affected by rampant corruption. Several forms of corruption are illegal in the country, however implementation of the law is non-existent and Somalia is rife with embezzlement, abuse of office, and bribery. Now see who the world’s most wasteful rich countries are

2. South Sudan
Corruption score: 12
A textbook kleptocracy, South Sudan’s public officials have stolen untold amounts of public money and are only too willing to accept monetary payments and gifts. Anti-corruption legislation isn’t enforced and wrongdoers are free to act in the knowledge they won’t be prosecuted for their crimes. No wonder the country remains the second most corrupt on the planet. The world’s best countries to live in ranked

3. Syria
Corruption score: 13
Syria keeps its score of 13 as the war-torn nation remains a corrupt country as it is led by president Bashar al-Assad, who has killed many of his people over the past few years. The president’s family and supporters control almost everything in the chaotic country, and are involved in myriad dubious dealings, from stealing aid money to trading in illegal arms. These are the world’s most and least polluted countries

4. Yemen
Corruption score: 15
Yemen’s score has increased by one point. The brutal civil war has plunged the country into an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and decimated the country’s economy, which isn’t helped by widespread nepotism that impedes any attempts at investment in the country. Deep-rooted corruption is hampering any meaningful attempts at recovery, and extortion and passive bribery are both legal and common practices.

5. Equatorial Guinea
Corruption score: 16
Equatorial Guinea is the joint fifth most corrupt country and keeps its score of 16. While much of the population suffers extreme poverty, the president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and his family live like royalty. In October 2017, the president’s son, Teodorín (pictured), was given a three-year suspended sentence by a French court for allegedly stealing millions of dollars in public money to fund his extravagant playboy lifestyle.

5. Sudan
Corruption score: 16
Sudan has a score of 16 for the third year in a row. The conflict-ravaged country has a profound problem with bribery, cronyism and nepotism in particular, and entrepreneurs in Sudan have to know the right people or pay off officials to achieve anything. Protests broke out in December 2018, bringing the 30-year rule of president Omar Hassan al-Bashir to an end. He will now face the International Criminal Court following accusations of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide and has been replaced by Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who has already been accused of similar offences.

5. Venezuela
Corruption score: 16
Venezuela has lost two points this year. The country continues to battle a severe economic crisis that has led to increased poverty and higher crime rates, despite having the world’s largest oil reserves. Bribery, theft of public money and nepotism are commonplace in government and the police force. President Nicolás Maduro has been removed by Juan Guaidó, who declared Maduro as illegitimate and announced himself as leader in 2019. He has since lost the support of many Venezuelans as his appointment has yet to positively impact their day-to-day lives.

5. Afghanistan
Corruption score: 16
Afghanistan maintains its score of 16 this year as it continues to deal with systemic corruption and the threat of Taliban violence. Family ties and tribal connections are especially strong in the country, making nepotism a massive issue. Bribery, graft and illegal land transfers are also endemic. Corruption also stretches to narcotics as Afghanistan is the world’s top producer of opium for heroin, with efforts to combat this trade at a low.

9. North Korea
Corruption score: 17
North Korea’s corruption score fluctuates most years, having gained five points between 2016 and 2017, losing three in 2018, and now settling back at 17 points. Corruption from the top down is a key feature of life in the Hermit Kingdom, where human rights are virtually non-existent. It has been reported that corruption has risen as officials will ask for bribes to ignore North Koreans who are using phones to call South Korea. Discover the legal and illegal jobs ordinary North Koreans do to survive

10. Guinea Bissau
Corruption score: 18
Guinea Bissau has seen its score increase by two points in 2019, but this small country is still riddled with crooked dealings and has become a major hub for cocaine smugglers from Latin America to Europe. Several senior military figures are alleged to be involved in the trafficking of narcotics, and corruption pervades all aspects of the public sphere. The fact that no president has finished a term since the first multi-party elections in 1994 hasn’t helped.

10. Libya
Corruption score: 18
Libya has seen its score rise since 2016, but corruption is still endemic in the country. Under the rule of Colonel Gaddafi corruption was rife, and that has not changed since his fall in 2011. The nation’s natural rich resources have even encouraged this. Libya has the largest crude oil reserves in Africa, and oil traders have manipulated the black market exchange rate to take money away from the country, siphoning it off into foreign bank accounts.

10. Haiti
Corruption score: 18
It is unsurpsing that Haiti features in the top 10 most corrupt countries after protests against President Jovenel Moïse continue to call for his resignation and a journalist was found dead in their car in 2019. The nation is riddled with corruption, from drug trafficking to gang violence. Citizens had also taken to the streets in protest in November 2018 (pictured) after Haiti’s Senate released a report accusing two former prime ministers and other officials of embezzlement and forgery relating to funds in an oil loan program in Venezuela. One person was killed during the protests.

10. Democratic Republic of the Congo
Corruption score: 18
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has lost two points since last year’s ranking, despite having had its first peaceful transfer of power in the country’s 60-year history with its appointment of Felix Tshisekedi as president in 2019. Corruption is a way of life in the republic, which has been mired in conflict for decades. Warlord Thomas Lubanga was sentenced to 14 years in jail for using child soldiers in his rebel army in 2002 and 2003, while M23 rebels have been a major fighting force in the eastern parts of the country, and there have been reports of military abuses of power.

14. Turkmenistan
Corruption score: 19
Turkmenistan has lost the point it gained in 2018 and has sunk from the joint 17th most corrupt country to joint 14th. Power in the landlocked central Asian nation is concentrated in the hands of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov who, along with his family, controls every aspect of public life with an iron fist. Turkmenistan also has the worst press freedom in the world according to Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index, with very few citizens having access to the highly-censored version of the internet and rumors and hearsay being the prevailing form of communciation.

14. Congo
Corruption score: 19
Having kept its low score of 19, Congo is as corrupt as ever and crooked activities pervade the public sector. The country’s political elite have been the subject of multiple reports of corruption, from money laundering to embezzlement of public funds, none of which have been reprimanded by the authorities. President Denis Sassou Nguesso continues to keep an iron grip on power, and government institutions are all-too susceptible to his malign interference.

14. Burundi
Corruption score: 19
Burundi’s fluctuating score mirrors its instability as it gains and loses points year on year. The east African nation has seen two years of political unrest and riots after President Pierre Nkurunziza voted in constitutional changes that could see him rule up until 2034. However, he has now said he will not run in the May 2020 elections. The country’s parliament has promised Nkurunziza a lifetime salary, housing, and a golden parachute, which many living in the impoverished country have criticized.

17. Iraq
Corruption score: 20
Iraq has gained two points since 2018 and has moved from joint 12th to joint 17th place, however it’s still a long way from being a safe, transparent nation. Maintaining a strong and stable government remains the country’s biggest challenge, with institutional reforms constantly delayed, as well as ongoing political infighting and corruption. The opening up of the nation’s oil reserves was intended to benefit the economy, but the money from the lucrative industry has allegedly been taken by corrupt politicians. Iraq’s recent involvement in the Iran-US crisis also suggests that the country’s score could dip even lower next year.

17. Chad
Corruption score: 20
Little has been done to deal with corruption in Chad over the past year, but the African country has seen its score rise from 19 back up to 20, where it was in 2017. Nepotism and cronyism are especially rife in the country, extortion and petty corruption pervade the police force, and bribery is ubiquitous in all areas of public life. At the end of 2019, the US criticized Chad, along with other West African countries in the Sahel region, for not doing more to combat Islamist violence.

17. Cambodia
Corruption score: 20
The joint 17th most corrupt country again this year, Cambodia has rigorous anti-corruption legislation in place, but the law is rarely enforced, and public officials act with impunity when it comes to accepting bribes. This makes doing business in the country a nightmare, as companies need to facilitate payments and gifts to get anything done.

20. Nicaragua
Corruption score: 22
Last year Nicaragua had a score of 25 but it slid into the 20 most corrupt countries after losing three points in 2019, which is a huge drop of seven points since 2012. Political, social and business groups have little to no influence on political decisions in Nicaragua. Parties and civil society who are not in power are excluded from the processes that go into making policy, while groups that are critical of the government move in increasingly restrictive spheres.

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