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30% of MENA citizens paid a bribe to access basic services

30% of MENA citizens paid a bribe to access basic services

Transparency International said that governments needed to do more to stamp out corruption

Nearly one in three citizens trying to access basic public services in the Middle East and North Africa has paid a bribe, according to a new report released on Tuesday.

Transparency International said that governments across the region had failed to stamp out corruption, based on its findings from a survey of 11,000 adults in nine countries.

The 30 per cent who admitted paying a bribe represented 50 million people, the organisation said.

The majority (61 per cent) of those surveyed also said that corruption in their country had gone up over the last 12 months.

“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 Transparency International chairman José Ugaz.

The organisation said five years after the Arab Spring protests governments had done little to enforce laws against corruption and bribery or enough to encourage transparency and accountability.

In Lebanon, 92 per net of people said corruption had increased, while across the region government officials, tax officials, and members of parliament were perceived to be the most corrupt groups.

Transparency urged governments in MENA to speak out to end corruption and deliver on anti-corruption commitments.

It said governments should bring the corrupt to justice, create a safe environment for society and the media to fight corruption, involve their citizens in the process and hold institutions to account.

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