This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.
International is out with its two thousand nine report on corruption around the
world. The nongovernmental organization has released its Corruption Perceptions
Index each year since nineteen ninety-eight.
This year the country seen as least corrupt is New
Zealand. New Zealand shared first place last year with Denmark and Sweden. This
year Denmark is ranked second, and Sweden shares third place with Singapore.
At the bottom of the list, ranked last
for the third year, is Somalia.
order of the list is based on how corrupt a country's government is considered
by a number of international organizations. These include the World Bank, the
World Economic Forum and the Asian and African development banks.
Transparency International, based in
Berlin, works to fight corruption and increase public awareness. Its yearly
report has grown to a list of one hundred eighty countries.
group says unstable countries damaged by war and ongoing conflict continue to
be those most affected by corruption. Those countries include Afghanistan and
Iraq, two nations that receive billions of dollars in international aid.
moved up two places this year and is now ranked fourth from the bottom, along
with Sudan. But Afghanistan fell three places to just above Somalia, meaning Afghanistan
is seen as the second most corrupt country.
Transparency International says people have to pay
bribes to receive basic services. A lack of government enforcement against
corruption is blamed for helping the Taliban gain supporters.
The United States has approved close to
forty billion dollars in aid for Afghanistan over the past eight years of war. President
Obama is preparing to announce his new war plan on Tuesday. The plan is expected
to include thousands of additional American troops.
President Hamid Karzai began a second term last week after an election in which
widespread cheating was found. He is under increased international pressure to
week his government announced new efforts to investigate top officials. A group
of current and former cabinet ministers are reportedly under investigation.
this year's corruption report, the United States dropped one place, to
nineteenth from eighteenth last year. Yet the score actually improved by
two-tenths of a point. Transparency International says there are many concerns
about supervision of the American financial industry.
of the countries at the bottom of the list are in sub-Saharan Africa. Patrick Berg
is a program coordinator for Transparency International.
PATRICK BERG :
"Where you find poverty, corruption usually hits people the hardest. In
some of the more affluent countries, corruption may be a major problem. But it
does not keep people from getting health care or clean water to their
he says some countries -- including Botswana, Mauritius and Cape Verde -- have worked
hard to improve their governance. As a result, they have improved their
standing on the list.
And that's IN THE NEWS in
VOA Special English, written by Brianna Blake. I'm Steve Ember.