Rampant Corruption In 80% of Least Developed Nations

2 03 2010

This is the second of three earlier articles that I am re-publishing. I feel they capture the real issue we are dealing with. I first published this in August 12th 2008.

The United Nations classifies a group of 49 countries as the Least Developed Nations. They exhibit the lowest indicators of socio-economic development and the lowest Human Development Index ratings of all countries in the world.

Perhaps not surprisingly, 80% of them score less than 3 out of 10 points on the Corruption Perception Index published by Transparency International. That means they suffer from rampant corruption.

Of the 49 countries on the Least Developed Countries list 33 are in Africa, 10 are in Asia, 5 are in Oceania and 1 is in the Americas.

In 2005, 12 percent of the world´s population lived in Least Developed Countries. That figure represented 750 million people. It was predicted that this figure would rise by 200 million people by 2015, making the reduction, let alone eradication, of poverty more difficult.

Fifty per cent of their populations live on less than $1 dollar a day, and 80 percent on less than $2 a day. Life expectancy is declining as a result of malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases like malaria and tuberculosis. And the resources and technologies available to most LDCs are limited.

Clearly these countries are in need of foreign aid but, as the article I posted yesterday indicates, $600bn in aid to Africa over the past 40years has had almost zero impact in most cases. Improvements have been minimal.

Map of Least Developed Countries


As the previous post on this blog shows $600bn in Foreign Aid to Africa over several decades has acheived very little in terms of economic growth and the reduction of poverty.

These facts and figures indicate that no amount of aid is likely to solve the problems in least developed nations without there also being a action to fight corruption. It can also be argued that aid is actually perpetuating the problem by sustaining corrupt and incompetent governments that would otherwise not be tollerated.

As previously stated Artists Against Corruption is not arguing for reducitions in aid. We merely argue that aid is wasted because of corruption and fighting the cause of poverty is as, if not more, important than fighting the symptoms of it. This is especially true of aid donated to corrupt governments, but all donors should adopt policies to fight corruption if they want to fight poverty.