Global corruption threat; UN cites theft of $3.2 trillion

by WorldTribune Staff, April 17, 2019

The global economy is losing $3.2 trillion per year due to corruption which includes bribery and theft of funds, according to the United Nations.

UN headquarters in New York City. / Wikimedia Commons

Corruption “robs societies of schools, hospitals and other vital services, drives away foreign investment and strips nations of their natural resources,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

According to recent world corruption reports by Transparency International and Risk Advisory, Africa and the Middle East are highly corrupt while corruption in Asia and Latin America is pervasive. The situations in some nations, including Chile and Uruguay, are improving, the reports said.

Transparency International said Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Libya, Syria and Yemen are among the “most corrupt” countries.

Businesses face “the biggest corruption challenges” in Turkmenistan, Libya and Somalia, says Risk Advisory, which added that the business sectors most vulnerable to corruption are construction, infrastructure, and oil and gas.

In Central America, democratic norms are being undermined across the region, warns Transparency International.
Risk Advisory says Central America “continues to be a difficult region for businesses to work in.”

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales is under siege for alleged cronyism. Gangsters in El Salvador and Honduras have created “physical security risks and heightened concerns that the banks in the region will continue to be used as conduits for money laundering and other financial crimes associated with the international drug trade,” says Risk Advisory. Transnational criminal syndicates like MS-13 thrive in corrupt environments and undermine governments.

The U.S. and Canada continue to be safe harbors, Risk Advisory said. “Both the U.S. and Canada have some of the most robust anti-corruption regimes in the world.”

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