Year after year, it’s the same. Our Global Corruption Barometer confirms that corruption hits poor people hardest – with devastating consequences. A bribe demanded by a police officer may mean that a family can’t afford school fees or even food to eat. Findings from Mexico, for instance, show that the typical poor family must spend one-third of their income on bribes.
Corruption also means that the services people depend on – from drinking water to health clinics – suffer. They are often are of a low quality or not sufficient to meet society’s most basic needs. Corruption siphons off monies needed to improve them while also distorting policy decisions, such as where roads and schools are built. The 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals to halve poverty is approaching. But targets might not be met. If not, corruption in governments, business and regulators will have been a leading cause. The solution?