West African livelihoods weakened by graft
Poor public services in many West African countries, with already dire human development indicators, are under constant pressure from pervasive corruption.
West African livelihoods weakened by graft IRIN
IRIN on Saturday, January 11, 2014
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Poor public services in many West African countries, with already dire human development indicators, are under constant pressure from pervasive corruption. Observers say graft is corroding proper governance and causing growing numbers of people to sink into poverty.

“If you want to put a human face to corruption… then see how we have kids who walk miles to school because there are no public transport systems,” said Harold Aidoo, the executive director of the Institute for Research and Democratic Development in Monrovia, the Liberian capital.

“You see women and mothers who give birth and die because there are no basic drugs or equipment at the hospitals, and no qualified or trained health professionals. You realize that many of our impoverished populations do not have access to clean drinking water,” he said.

More West African countries were perceived to be highly corrupt in 2013 than the previous year due to the effects of political instability in countries such as Mali, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, according to the corruption index compiled by the global watchdog, Transparency International 

Bribery, rigged elections, shady contract deals with multinational businesses operating in the natural resources sector, and illicit cash transfers out of countries are some of the more common forms of graft. In sub-Saharan Africa, 90 percent of countries are seen to be corrupt, the watchdog said.

                           
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