MADISON, Wisconsin — Corrupt governments are one of the main perpetrators of poverty. In parts of the world where governments are without democracy, corruption runs wild. This leaves citizens without laws to protect them and without access to critical infrastructure. Government corruption is a poverty trap that leaves people to suffer generation after generation until somebody breaks the cycle. Here is the list of the 10 most corrupt governments in the world.
10. Syria (Tied with Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan)
The Syrian government is one of the most corrupt governments in the world. The global community turned their eyes towards Syria after the government gassed and killed an estimated 1,400 citizens.
Photo: Global Post
9. Turkmenistan (Tied with Syria and Uzbekistan)
Current President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, is doing much to clean up the corruption from his predecessor, Niyazov, but is still considered a rigid authoritarian. He has done little to allow democracy in Turkmenistan.
8. Uzbekistan (Tied with Turkmenistan and Syria)
President Islam Karimov has been President of Uzbekistan since 1990. His time in office has been riddled with human rights violations and suppression of the press. The United Nations found torture as a key tool in the Uzbekistan judicial system.
President Jalal Talabani has benefited greatly from his countries oil exports, which exceed 200 billion dollars per year. While war and and oil exports have made Talabani richer, most Iraqis still live without access to clean drinking water, health care or education.
Pictured above is Muammar Gaddafi, one of the most infamous and controversial leaders of Libya in all its history. Western governments refer to him as “a viscous dictator of a repressed people.” Libyans are still feeling the negative effects of his corruption.
Photo: The Telegraph
5. South Sudan
Salva Kiir Mayardit has served as president of South Sudan since its independence in 2011. The country has been in a constant state of turmoil since its founding. In December 2013, Mayardit’s private army killed an estimated 10,000 Nuer men, women and children.
Photo: Voice of America
President Omar al- Bashir has been in office since 1989 and has been continually re-elected in questionable elections. Bashir became the first sitting president to be indicted by ICC for directing a campaign of mass killing, rape and pillage against civilians in Darfur.
Photo: Business Insider
3. Afghanistan (Tied with Somalia and North Korea)
President Karzai’s presidency has shown the resurgence of the Taliban and an increase in opium trade. The other main areas of criticism surrounding President Karzai involve nepotism, corruption, electoral fraud and the involvement of his late half brother Ahmed Wali Karzai in the drug trade. Karzai has blamed the corruption in Afghanistan on the international community as opposed to his own actions.
Photo: The Guardian
2. North Korea (Tied with Afghanistan and Somalia)
Supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jung-un, has taken North Korea’s corruption to the next level. When he isn’t threatening the United States with nuclear attacks, he is violating human rights by killing defectors, holding public executions and sending people to prison camps. It is claimed that an estimated 10,000 people have died of famine while under his rule.
Photo: Foreign Policy
1. Somalia (Tied with Afghanistan and North Korea)
The World Bank issued a report in 2012 alleging that about $130 million or 68% of funds that the Somalian government had received from 2009-2010 were unaccounted for. Since then, President Hassan Sheik Mohamud has taken office and has tirelessly worked to end the corruption in Somalia. Time Magazine has named Mohamud one of the top 100 influential people in world due to his efforts to reform Somalia. We have high hopes that in 2014 Somalia will no longer be one of the most corrupt governments in the world.
– Sarah Dalgleish