Transparency International recently released the Corruption Perception Index 2020. Highlight the findings of the index and the impact of corruption in a public health emergency along with measures to reduce corruption.

 3. Transparency International recently released the Corruption Perception Index 2020. Highlight the findings of the index and the impact of corruption in a public health emergency along with measures to reduce corruption.

 Answer 

The Corruption Perception Index, released annually by Transparency International, ranks 180 countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business people. It uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero signifies the highest level of corruption and 100 is very clean. Global Highlights 

• Denmark and New Zealand topped the list with scores of 88, followed by Finland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland (85 each). Syria with a score of 14, Somalia and South Sudan with scores of 12 each come last on the CPI 2020. 

• The data shows that despite some progress, most countries still fail to tackle corruption effectively. Like in previous years, more than two-thirds of countries scored below 50 in CPI 2020, with a global average score of just 43. 


• Since 2012, 26 countries have significantly improved their CPI scores and the CPI scores have decreased in 22 countries. 

• Nearly half the countries have been stagnant on the index for almost a decade, indicating lack of government efforts to tackle the root causes of corruption.

Highlights from Asia Pacific 

• The average score in the Asia-Pacific region, which covers 31 countries, is 45. New Zealand was the top performer in the region. Other top-scoring countries in this region were Singapore (85), Australia (77) and Hong Kong (77). 

• India’s ranking on the CPI 2020 slipped from 80 to 86 even as its score decreased only by one point to 40 (in 2020) from 41 in 2019. 

• India’s score of 40 is below both the global average and the Asia-Pacific average. India’s score is also lower than that of China, which scored 42 with a rank of 78. However, Pakistan, fared poorly with a score of 31 and a rank of 124. Corruption In A Public Health Emergency 

• Corruption poses a critical threat to citizens’ lives and livelihoods, especially when combined with a public health emergency. Clean public sectors correlate with greater investment in health care.

 • Uruguay, that has the highest CPI score in Latin America (71), invests heavily in health care, which aided its response to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, like yellow fever and Zika.  

• In contrast, Bangladesh scores just 26 and invests little in health care due to which there is high corruption during COVID-19, ranging from bribery in health clinics to misappropriated aid. 

• Countries with higher corruption levels also tend to be the worst violators of rule of law and democratic institutions during the COVID-19 crisis. For instance, Philippines (34), where the response to COVID19 has been characterised by major attacks on human rights and media freedom. Measures To Address Corruption 

• Governments must ensure open and transparent contracting to identify conflicts of interest and ensure fair pricing. 

• Anti-corruption authorities and oversight institutions must have sufficient funds, resources and independence to perform their duties. 

• Governments must also publish relevant data and guarantee access to information to ensure the public receives easy, accessible, timely and meaningful information. Taking appropriate measures to tackle corruption will not only ensure that the resources actually reach where they are intended to and to those who need them the most, along with creating the right conditions and the social infrastructure to deal with future public health emergencies

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