Afghanistan among most corrupt nations, report finds

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OTTAWA -- The No. 1 recipient of Canadian taxpayers' foreign-aid dollars is the second-most corrupt country in the world, a new report says.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/10/2010 (4361 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

OTTAWA — The No. 1 recipient of Canadian taxpayers’ foreign-aid dollars is the second-most corrupt country in the world, a new report says.

Afghanistan tied with the military dictatorship in Myanmar as the second-most corrupt country on the planet, according to the yearly audit by the Berlin-based group Transparency International. Somalia won the dubious distinction as most corrupt on the organization’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index.

On the least-corrupt scale, Canada inched up to sixth from eighth from a year earlier in the ranking of 178 countries. Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore topped the list as the countries with the most virtuous public sectors.

CP The associated press archives A villager walks by a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan. Only Somalia is more corrupt, a report finds.

Through 2001, Canada has earmarked $1.9 billion in development assistance to Afghanistan, the single-largest recipient of its foreign-aid spending.

Western concerns about corruption in Afghanistan have been an issue for years, and they were revived this week when President Hamid Karzai admitted his government receives bags of cash from Iran totalling in the millions of dollars.

“Unstable governments with a history of conflict continue to dominate the bottom rungs of the (index),” said Huguette Labelle, the organization’s chair and retired federal public servant who once headed the Canadian International Development Agency. “Corruption nourishes poverty, it seeds violence, it destabilizes countries.”

Fighting corruption needs to be made a central element of poverty reduction, she said.

Labelle said three-quarters of the world’s countries have a serious problem with corruption, including members of the G20, which is trying to guide recovery from the global economic crisis.

Corruption scores declined among a number of higher-income countries “rattled by the financial crisis,” she said.

The United States was singled out for its decline to 22nd from 19th place, while Italy and Greece also fell, to 67th and 78th respectively.

— The Canadian Press

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