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Performance of the Arab countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index for 2021

Arab Region - Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Transparency International released, today, the results of its 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which ranked 180 countries on a scale ranging from zero (highly corrupt) to one hundred (very clean), showing that most countries are still unable to make significant progress in curbing corruption, at least insofar as this measurement is concerned. Denmark maintained its global lead and previous score of 88 points, with Finland joining due to it gaining 3 points this year, while South Sudan came in last place with a score of only 11 points. Detailed country results may be accessed here.

The situation in the Arab states also remains generally unchanged with the regional average standing at 34 points compared to the global average of 43 points. Only six out of the twenty-one Arab countries included in the CPI this year have made progress, albeit relatively minor, with the exception of Sudan who gained 4 points and Djibouti who gained 3 points. Other improvers include Iraq who gained 2 points and Kuwait, Yemen and Somalia who gained only 1 point each, noting that the latter remains at the bottom of the list in the region. The United Arab Emirates remains on top, with 69 points, despite it losing 2 points compared to 2020, with Syria joining Somalia after losing 1 point, scoring 13 out of 100.

In Transparency International’s statement on the occasion, the Berlin-based organization commented: “two years into the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) reveals that corruption levels have stagnated worldwide. Despite commitments on paper, 131 countries have made no significant progress against corruption over the last decade and this year 27 countries are at historic lows in their CPI score". It is worth noting here that there is a time lag of 1-2 years between the time of measurement and the time of reporting of results meaning that what is published this year accounts for the state of affairs one or two years ago instead of the present time.

The CPI is a composite index based on data collected from thirteen indicators produced by reputable organizations, which mainly measure perceptions and opinions of experts and businesspersons on corruption in the public sector. It has been subject to criticism by governments and independent experts alike, due to its methodological limitations, yet it remains to be the most popular and most widely referenced measurement in the field of anti-corruption worldwide.



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