Special Report

The Most Corrupt Countries in the World

9. Haiti
> Corruption index score (0-100):
17 (tied-9th worst)
> Population: 10.6 million
> Region: Americas
> GDP per capita: $1,793.69

In 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake decimated the Haitian capital of Port-Au-Prince and killed close to a quarter of a million people. Over the course of the five years since, the poorest nation in the hemisphere received roughly $13 billion in aid from international bodies. Despite all the aid, thousands of citizens remain in displacement camps half a decade later. This could be due to authorities poorly utilizing the funds, but some point to corruption as the source of the problem. Crises such as what Haiti has endured make areas extremely vulnerable to corrupt practices. At least one major charity, Wyclef Jean’s relief organization, is currently under investigation. Apart from aid funds-related corruption, corruption in the political system also common.

According to a commissioned report on the country’s presidential elections, intimidation at the polls and significant miscount are common in Haiti’s electoral system. More than half of all votes are believed to be fraudulent, and less than 30% of registered voters cast ballots. In response to protests against corruption, the country’s electoral council recently postponed a presidential election for the third straight time.

8. Libya
> Corruption index score (0-100):
16 (tied-7th worst)
> Population: 6.3 million
> Region: Middle East & North Africa
> GDP per capita: $14,854.52

Libya is one of many corrupt countries in complete disarray. Since the violent overthrow of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has been in a state of near constant political turmoil. While Gaddafi’s government was notoriously corrupt, the power vacuum left in his absence has done little to improve matters. Disputes between groups vying for control of the North African nation devolved into civil war in 2014. In a deal brokered by the U.N., a 32-minister Government of National Accord was formed at the start of this year to govern the war-torn nation. However, neither of the opposing sides involved in the civil war consent to the new government, leaving the country without any semblance of political or economic governance. In addition to the violence and countless casualties, Libya’s economy has suffered tremendously. The 6.1% GDP drop in 2014 was one of the sharpest such economic declines in the world.

7. Iraq
> Corruption index score (0-100):
16 (tied-7th worst)
> Population: 35.2 million
> Region: Middle East & North Africa
> GDP per capita: $15,112.95

Precipitated by the 2003 U.S. invasion and the subsequent toppling of Saddam Hussein, Iraq is currently in the midst of a civil war involving multiple regional interests and parties, which are often defined by religious sects. Without stable government institutions, like the police or banks, Iraqis often need to turn to corrupt practices in order to survive. Civilians in Iraq are not protected, and illegitimate authorities — such as the terrorist group and self proclaimed Islamic State (IS) — control major parts of the country. Under current conditions, economic growth has stagnated in Iraq. Iraq is one of only 14 countries reviewed where GDP declined in 2014.

Corruption in the country was also rife under former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s administration. The Iraqi Commission on Integrity found that roughly half of the government’s oil income and funds for reconstruction — approximately $500 billion — were stolen under al-Maliki’s rule.

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