Corruption Essay

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# 02 / 2008 Poverty and Corruption The year 2007 marked a milestone in the fight against poverty and corruption. It represented the midway point on the road to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the ambitious global pledge to end extreme poverty by 2015. It also signalled that ten years had passed since the anticorruption movement had signed the Lima Declaration, promising to address poverty as part of their efforts.1 However, actual accomplishments have fallen short of expected progress. In practice, donors and governments still treat poverty and corruption as separate — rather than integral — components of the same strategy. The continued lack of policy integration has undermined efforts to fight both poverty and corruption. Poverty continues to plague more than a half of the world’s citizens, with nearly three billion people living on less than two dollars-a-day.2 Data on the MDGs show the current development trend not keeping pace with earlier projections. Bottlenecks have developed in certain regions and key countries, creating sizable challenges to meeting the 2015 timeline.3 Table of Contents 1. Introducing the concepts 2. Understanding the poverty-corruption nexus 3. Breaking the cycle 4. Taking next steps w w w. t r a n s p a r e n c y . o r g Poverty and corruption Corruption’s Tax on the Poor Corruption acts as a regressive tax on the poor that robs resources from already hard-pressed households. A recent study in Mexico revealed that approximately 25 percent of the income earned by poor households 8 went to petty corruption. Results from the TI Global Corruption Barometer for 2007 showed that poor respondents consistently pay more bribes than other income groups, whether to receive medical services, attend schools or seek police assistance. Those who cannot afford to bribe are further marginalised, left without access and turned into

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