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SVG listed among ‘biggest improvers’ in Corruption Perceptions Index

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St Vincent and the Grenadines is listed among the “biggest improvers” in the 20th edition of the Corruption Perceptions Index, published by anti-corruption group Transparency International on Wednesday.{{more}}

More than two thirds of the 175 countries in the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index score below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean). Denmark comes out on top in 2014 with a score of 92, while North Korea and Somalia share last place, scoring just eight.

St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) scored 67, up from 62 in 2013 and 2012. This jump of five points, places SVG among the “biggest improvers” for 2014.

Other countries improving by five points were Côte d´Ivoire and Egypt, while Afghanistan, Jordan, Mali and Swaziland improved by four points.

SVG ranks 29th out of 175 countries, third in the region behind Barbados which scored 74 and the Bahamas which scored 71.

“The 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index shows that economic growth is undermined and efforts to stop corruption fade when leaders and high level officials abuse power to appropriate public funds for personal gain,” said José Ugaz, the chair of Transparency International.

“Corrupt officials smuggle ill-gotten assets into safe havens through offshore companies with absolute impunity,” Ugaz added. “Countries at the bottom need to adopt radical anti-corruption measures in favour of their people. Countries at the top of the index should make sure they don’t export corrupt practices to underdeveloped countries.”

The Corruption Perceptions Index is based on expert opinions of public sector corruption. Countries’ scores can be helped by open government where the public can hold leaders to account, while a poor score is a sign of prevalent bribery, lack of punishment for corruption and public institutions that don’t respond to citizens’ needs.