A report by Transparency International has shown a sharp increase in corruption in Middle Eastern and North African countries, further reinforcing post-Arab Spring instability, and making half the world’s most corrupt countries as being Arab.
According to the Corruption Perceptions Index, 90 per cent of MENA region countries scored below 50, meaning they failed at obtaining suitable anti-corruption standards.
Five out of the ten most corrupt countries in the world are from the MENA region, including Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Syria. All five of these countries are currently experiencing war and political instability.
The Arabian Gulf states in particular have seen a drop on the latest index as ruling families continue to hold a political and economic monopoly within their countries. Public freedoms are overlooked by political officials, and the military involvement of the Gulf states that are a part of the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen have decreased levels of transparency regarding public expenditure and state budgets.
Egypt in particular has been singled out as a country that is riddled with corruption. Its levels of corruption remains high and the report pointed out that there is no incentive to tackle the issue in Cairo.
However, Egypt’s ranking of 108th still remained significantly higher than Iran, which languished at 131st in the table. Meanwhile, states deemed to have been under the influence of Iran were even more corrupt, with Iraq at 166th, Yemen at 170th and Syria the lowest of all Arab countries under Iran’s sway at 173rd.