Transparency International: Ordinary people can make a difference
Lebanon stands out in the MENA region as having the most negative corruption ratings, according to citizens who have been surveyed as part of a report published last week by Transparency International, under the title ‘People and Corruption: Middle East & North Africa Survey 2016.’
People are particularly likely to think that corruption has risen, as 92 percent of the surveyed say that they think it has increased in the past year. It is the highest percentage compared to the other surveyed countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen.
The survey indicates that tackling corruption should be a priority for all actors, from Government and business to ordinary citizens.
Citizens think that the public sector suffers from particularly widespread corruption. More than two-thirds of respondents say ‘most’ or ‘all’ individuals working in these institutions are corrupt, while a further quarter says that ‘some’ are corrupt (22 percent).
People are particularly critical of the Government’s efforts to address public sector graft. Three-quarters rate the administration’s efforts as either very or fairly bad.
Around a half of the citizens agreed that ordinary people can make a difference in fighting corruption, while a sizeable minority feels disempowered. A third of citizens say that there is nothing they can do about it. The second most common reason why people do not report more cases of corruption is that they feel that it will not make a difference. “This, perhaps, reflects the Government’s lack of capacity,” according to the report.
The widespread extent of corruption in particular is also considered another factor why more cases of corruption are not reported there. “Respondents are particularly likely to say that the reason why people do not report is that corruption is normal and everyone does it, or that the officials to whom they would report corruption are often also involved in it.” When corruption is endemic within communities, it triggers a feeling of resignation and apathy, which is why greater efforts need to be made to tackle bribery and other forms of corruption head-on, according to the report.