$2.6 trillion lost to corruption every year, says UN

Published December 10, 2018
International flags fly in front of the United Nation's headquarters. — AFP
International flags fly in front of the United Nation's headquarters. — AFP

WASHINGTON: Every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes while an estimated $2.6 trillion are stolen annually through corruption, the United Nations warned on Sunday as the world observed international anti-corruption day.

The UN said that more than five per cent of the global GDP is siphoned off every year. In developing countries, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) added.

The UN urged member states to further strengthen their resolve to fight corruption because it’s “a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune.”

Transparency Interna­tional (TI) endorsed the UN message with a warning that corruption impacts the poorest and the most vulnerable in society are hit the hardest. “It is ordinary citizens who suffer the most when the corrupt steal funds intended for public services like infrastructure, healthcare and education, or take back-handers to award lucrative contracts to their cronies.”

Another TI survey showed that the majority of people around the world do not think governments are doing well fighting corruption, only 30 per cent of the people surveyed said their government was doing well.

TI’s latest worldwide corruption survey, the Global Corruption Barometer, showed that most people firmly believe in their own power to combat corruption. Latin American and the Caribbean lead the pack in this regard, with 70 per cent of citizens across the region saying that ordinary people can make a difference.

‘Good news’

But TI also focuses on “the good news”, pointing out that more than half the people around the world — particularly young people — agreed that citizens could make a difference. “Fifty-eight per cent of people aged 24 and under said they feel empowered to make a difference. Fifty per cent of those aged 55 also agreed.”

But TI also warned that governments around the world had were now making it harder for people to engage. Journalists and activist groups faced mounting pressure from governments. Attacks on journalists are on the rise in many parts of the world. “Such crackdowns … add to an environment in which corrupt public officials, shady businesses and organised criminals are able to act with impunity.”

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2018

Opinion

Law & processions
16 Oct 2021

Law & processions

It is up to the police to impose reasonable conditions on a procession.
Is the party over?
Updated 16 Oct 2021

Is the party over?

Many in PTI are concerned how they can hang on till the next elections.
The last fortress
Updated 16 Oct 2021

The last fortress

The state wants to use the social media rules to trample on the right to freedom of speech.
Reopening under Covid
15 Oct 2021

Reopening under Covid

It will be a challenge to deal with all students returning to classrooms and maintaining SOPs.

Editorial

Diminishing freedom
Updated 16 Oct 2021

Diminishing freedom

DESPITE the serious reservations of digital rights activists and tech companies, the federal government has...
16 Oct 2021

Dirty politics

IN her outburst against Prime Minister Imran Khan this week, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz may not have taken names but...
16 Oct 2021

Decreasing emissions

THE announcement by SAPM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam that carbon emissions in the country came down by 9pc...
No need for NAB
Updated 15 Oct 2021

No need for NAB

THE National Accountability Bureau has sent instructions to its regional bureaus to stop processing cases that fall...
Forced conversions
Updated 15 Oct 2021

Forced conversions

THE majoritarian view has once again prevailed in the matter of bringing about legislation against forced conversion...
15 Oct 2021

Transgender rights

MEMBERS of the transgender community in the country are often at the receiving end of both their families’ and...