Page last updated at 11:47 GMT, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 12:47 UK

War-hit nations head corrupt list

Iraqi woman nurses her daughter suffering from cholera
Corruption can take money away from hospitals in places like Iraq, says TI

Iraq has been ranked by Transparency International(TI) as one of the world's most corrupt countries, just above Somalia as the "least clean" state.

The index is based on perceptions of public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories.

The high levels of corruption amount to a humanitarian disaster said Huguette Labelle, chair of the watchdog.

At the bottom of the transparency table, along with Somalia and Iraq, are Burma, Haiti, Afghanistan and Sudan.

While Iraq remains in the same bottom-three position in the table as last year, the level of perceived corruption in the country collated by the Berlin-based organisation has increased.

TEN MOST CORRUPT STATES
Somalia
Burma
Iraq
Haiti
Afghanistan
Sudan
Guinea
Chad
Equatorial Guinea
DR Congo
Source: Transparency International

The score is based on perceptions of the degree of corruption as seen by business people and country analysts.

'Tougher approach needed'

"In the poorest countries, corruption levels can mean the difference between life and death, when money for hospitals or clean water is in play," said Ms Labelle.

She added: "But even in more privileged countries, with enforcement disturbingly uneven, a tougher approach to tackling corruption is needed."

Sweden jumped up to join Denmark and New Zealand at the top of the table, while Finland slipped back from the top to fifth place.

Among those countries whose corruption score had worsened over the past year were Bulgaria, Burundi, Maldives, Norway and the UK, said TI.

The UK has dropped from 12th position down to 16th and the watchdog blames what it claims to be the UK's "engrained complacency over its failure to take international corruption seriously."

TEN LEAST CORRUPT STATES
Denmark
Sweden
New Zealand
Singapore
Finland
Switzerland
Iceland
Netherlands
Australia
Canada
Source:Transparency International

Chairman of the UK branch of TI, Laurence Cockcroft, said: "Many developed and developing countries find the UK's attitude inexplicable.

"Is it really so difficult to pass a proper anti-corruption law in 11 years since one was required and recommended?"

In the 2008 index, Qatar, South Korea and Turkey made significant progress in the fight against corruption.

Somalia is at the bottom of the table for a second year. The country has been without an effective central government since a military regime collapsed in 1991.


SEE ALSO
Ex-KBR executive in guilty plea
04 Sep 08 |  Business
Iraq economic outlook 'improves'
04 Sep 08 |  Business
Lords says SFO Saudi move lawful
30 Jul 08 |  Business

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific