By Transparency International
On 28 January 2021, we released our Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2020, and the results make one thing clear – corruption kills people.
COVID-19 is not just a health and economic crisis, but also a corruption crisis. Our research shows that countries where corruption is more pervasive are less able to provide health care for their citizens and are the least equipped to handle crises.
Countries with high levels of corruption also relied less on democratic responses to the COVID-19 crisis, leading to democratic backsliding in many regions of the world.
More than a year into the crisis, with vaccines already available in many parts of the world, there’s a looming question of whether corruption will continue to undermine vaccine distribution too.
The index also reveals that most countries have made little to no progress in tackling corruption in almost a decade and more than two-thirds of countries scored below 50 out of 100. But even top-scoring countries have corruption challenges at home and are responsible for enabling or fuelling corruption abroad.
Progress against corruption and a fair and equitable recovery from COVID-19 are possible if important decisions are made in the interests of the public, not the powerful. The only question that remains is how will we respond?