In their 2021 corruption perception index (CPI) published on Tuesday, the Berlin-based NGO ranked the perceived levels of corruption in Iraq as equal to the levels of abuse of power for private gain in Zimbabwe, Cambodia, and Honduras. With a score of 23 out of 100, the nation has gained two points in the index over the last year and is subsequently up three places from the bottom of the table.
Despite this gain, Iraq still falls far below the global average of 43 and remains perceived as one of the most corrupt countries on earth, in a country plagued by corrosive principles of “wasta” (personal connections) and politicians who appear to serve themselves above their elected representatives.
Albeit minor, the improvement bucks the broader trend of a stagnating fight against corruption both regionally and globally. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has received the same average result for the fourth year in a row. Worldwide, 131 countries are assessed as having made no significant progress against corruption over the last decade.