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Somalia, Afghanistan ranked most corrupt countries in annual survey

[JURIST] The conflict-ravaged nations of Somalia, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Sudan, and Iraq rank among the world's most corrupt, according to the 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) [text; press release] prepared by Transparency International (TI) [advocacy website]. The index, released Tuesday, ranked 180 countries based on observations by businesspeople and analysts, giving each a score between 0 and 10. Somalia had the lowest score of 1.1, while Afghanistan scored 1.3, Myanmar scored 1.4, and Sudan and Iraq tied at 1.5. More than half of the countries surveyed had scores below 5. TI suggests that the global financial crisis may be contributing to corruption, especially in countries that lack stable governments. TI chair Huguette Labelle said:

Stemming corruption requires strong oversight by parliaments, a well performing judiciary, independent and properly resourced audit and anti-corruption agencies, vigorous law enforcement, transparency in public budgets, revenue and aid flows, as well as space for independent media and a vibrant civil society. The international community must find efficient ways to help war-torn countries to develop and sustain their own institutions.
The countries with the highest scores were New Zealand, with a 9.4 and Denmark, with a 9.3.

The 2008 CPI [text] also found Somalia, Myanmar, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Sudan at the bottom of the list, as well as Haiti. Haiti improved its score in 2009, but still remains near the bottom of the list. The 2007 and 2006 CPIs [JURIST reports] had similar findings.

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