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|Posted Monday, November 6, 2006|
|Haiti tops world corruption table|
Haiti has been ranked as the most corrupt country in the World by Transparency International (TI), followed by Burma and Iraq.
The Berlin-based anti-corruption watchdog said that for the first time, Haiti topped the table.
The survey relates to perceptions of the degree of corruption in different countries, as seen by business people, academics and risk analysts.
Bangladesh had headed the rankings for the previous five years.
The chair of TI, Hugette Labelle, said that there was a strong correlation between corruption and poverty.
TEN MOST CORRUPT STATES
Haiti Burma Iraq Guinea Sudan DR Congo Chad Bangladesh Uzbekistan Equatorial Guinea Source: Transparency International
"Corruption traps millions in poverty," she said.
"Despite a decade of progress in establishing anti-corruption laws and regulations, today's results indicate that much remains to be done before we see meaningful improvements in the lives of the world's poorest citizens."
'Scandals' Corruption was perceived as being "rampant" in 71 of the countries studied.
Among those whose corruption had worsened in the past year were Brazil, Tunisia and the US, TI said.
It added that the Czech Republic, Latvia and Uruguay were among those whose perception had improved.
"While the industrialised countries score relatively high, we continue to see major corruption scandals in many of these countries," TI said.
"Although corruption in this context may have less impact on poverty and development than in developing countries, these scandals demonstrate that there is no room for complacency."
TEN LEAST CORRUPT STATES
Finland Iceland New Zealand Denmark Singapore Sweden Switzerland Norway Australia Netherlands Source: Transparency International
Haiti was the world's first black-led republic and the first Caribbean state to achieve independence.
But it has suffered from decades of poverty, environmental degradation, violence, instability and dictatorship which have left it as the poorest nation in the Americas.
A mostly mountainous country with a tropical climate, Haiti's location, history and culture once made it a potential tourist hot spot.
However, instability and violence, especially since the 1980s, have all but destroyed this prospect.
Another TI study published last month, found that firms from China and India were most willing to pay bribes abroad to do business.
French and Italian firms were named as the worst culprits for paying bribes in low-income countries.
Reprinted from BBC/America of Monday, November 6, 2006.
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