Skip to main content

Syria, Yemen and Libya rank among lowest in corruption index

Syria, Yemen and Libya among 'lowest in the world' for corruption perceptions
2 min read
31 January, 2023
Syria, Yemen and Libya were ranked among the lowest in the world by Transparency International in their annual 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index.
Syria ranked joint second lowest in the world, just one above Somalia [Getty]

Syria, Yemen and Libya ranked among the lowest in the world in the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), a global corruption ranking system released on Tuesday. 

Transparency International's CPI measures how corrupt each country's public sector is perceived to be, using a range of external data and producing a relative average for each nation between 0 (highly corrupt) and 100 (very clean) 

Scores for Arab states dropped ever lower on the 2022 list, with a reduced average of 38 compared to 39 the year before. 

Syria was joint second from the bottom ranking 13 out of 100; Yemen was five from the bottom at 16 and Libya was sixth-lowest at 17. 

Inside MENA
Live Story

"The region continues to struggle with authoritarianism, with even the leadership changes sparked by the Arab Spring uprisings of over a decade ago ultimately failing to dismantle the power structures that allow those at the top to retain control," wrote Transparency International. 

"The instability and consolidation of power in turn fuels political corruption, feeding the vicious cycle of authoritarianism, corruption and conflict across the Arab world."

Libya's CPI ranking system is unchanged from 2020 or 2021 but Transparency International pointed to the country's endemic instability and inequality for its continued low ranking. 

Libya failed to hold elections in 2021, and tensions continue to escalate between western and eastern factions who have created their own competing political and militia coalitions. 

Yemen, mired by years of war and facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, also saw its CPI ranking unchanged from the year before. 

Ever since 2014, when fighting broke out between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels, the country's CPI score has - compared to the early 2010s - plummeted. 

Syria, which ranked the same as South Sudan, has received a score of either 13 or 14 since 2016. 

Transparency International listed three countries to watch moving forward: Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia. 

A shrinking civic space combined with the consolidation of power by certain groups and economic mismanagement contribute to growing perceptions of corruption in these countries, they said.