50 million people in the Middle East and North Africa paid bribes last year

50 million people in the Middle East and North Africa paid bribes last year

When Kamal from Morocco urgently needed to get a brain scan for his partially blind daughter, he had two choices: either pay the exorbitant bribe the nurse demanded or his daughter would not be seen.

Unfortunately, Kamal’s story is not unique. Fifty million people in the Middle East and North Africa had to pay bribes to access the basic services that they needed. That is nearly 1 in 3 public service users.

GCB MENA infographic 3

These numbers are unlikely to improve if the current trend continues, as the majority of people (61 per cent) in the region believe that the level of corruption has risen in the past 12 months, according to our new report, “People and Corruption: Middle East and North Africa Survey 2016”, part of the Global Corruption Barometer. Read the report

GCB MENA infographic 2

The report, which is based on results from a survey of nearly 11,000 adults in 9 countries/territories, sends a clear message: governments in the region have failed to meet the expectations of their citizens who took to the streets en masse five years ago to stop corruption and oppression and demand their governments to be transparent and accountable. Sixty-eight per cent of those surveyed believe that their governments are doing poorly in the fight against corruption.

“It’s as if the Arab Spring never happened. Leaders who fail to stop secrecy, fail to promote free speech and fail to stop bribery also fail to bring dignity to the daily lives of people living in the Middle East and North Africa. Peoples’ human rights are seriously affected,” said José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.

GCB MENA infographic 1

Corruption can be stopped.

When Kamal went back to the hospital, he had back-up – in the form of two undercover officers. When the nurse asked for the money the officers arrested him on the spot, and after going to court the nurse was imprisoned for two months. In the meantime, Kamal’s daughter received the care she needed – free from any excess charge.

What needs to be done to stop corruption in the Middle East and North Africa today?

Based on the findings of the survey, here are our four top recommendations:

 

Help support our work today

Downloads

For any press enquiries please contact press@transparency.org

Supplementary downloads

Latest

Support Transparency International

The terrible consequences of police corruption in South Africa

What do we do when those mandated to protect us are serving other interests than public safety and security? In South Africa, police corruption leaves the public exposed to high rates of crime, and causes distrust of the police service while allowing crime to flourish.

Why do DRC citizens report such high levels of corruption?

People's experiences with corruption in the DRC are far worse than in most other African countries. Why is corruption so prevalent in the DRC, why is bribery so commonplace and why do two thirds of citizens feel powerless?

Is Mauritius at a tipping point in the fight against corruption?

According to the latest GCB for Africa, very few Mauritians who accessed public services, like health care and education, had to pay a bribe for those services. But given recent scandals, citizens still see certain groups and institutions as corrupt.

Countries must be more transparent when investigating transnational corruption

Supervisory and justice systems should be transparent and accountable so that the public can assess their performance.

Resilient institutions

Reducing corruption is an important component of the sustainable development agenda, and one that all state parties have an obligation to address. Although corruption is often thought of as a ‘third-world problem’, institutions in the Global North play an important role in the corruption cycle, and are therefore an essential part of the solutions.

In whose interest? Political integrity and corruption in Africa

What accounts for the wide disparity in peoples’ perceptions of the integrity of elected representatives in different countries? In this piece, we will to look at various forms of political corruption, how they manifest in African countries and what can be done to promote political integrity.

Cidadãos opinam sobre a corrupção em África

A décima edição do Barómetro Global de Corrupção (GCB) – África revela que embora a maioria das pessoas na África acreditem que os níveis de corrupção aumentaram no seu país, elas também se sentem otimistas, pois acreditam que os cidadãos podem fazer a diferença no combate à corrupção.

Les citoyens africains expriment leur opinion sur la corruption

La 10e édition du Baromètre mondial de la corruption – Afrique révèle que la plupart des Africains pensent que la corruption a augmenté dans leur pays, mais aussi que la majorité d’entre eux s’estiment capables, en tant que citoyens, de changer la donne dans la lutte contre la corruption.

Global Corruption Barometer - Africa 2019

The Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Africa reveals that more than half of all citizens surveyed in 35 African countries think corruption is getting worse in their country. 59 per cent of people think their government is doing badly at tackling corruption.

Citizens speak out about corruption in Africa

The Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Africa, reveals that while most people in Africa feel corruption increased in their country, a majority also feel optimistic that they can make a difference in the fight against corruption.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media