World without corruption?

20 Feb

The Economist reported last week that the World Bank is still continuing its initiative in fighting corruption. It made me feel hopeful, but I wonder how determine it is to continue doing it.

 I first heard about the World Bank’s promise to fight corruption last year. The institution’s new president Paul Wolfowitz’s pledged that he would not lend to countries with corruption. I was cynical. I thought it was mission impossible. The borrowing countries are mostly developing countries where corruption flourished. If the World Bank refused to lend to them, they have no more market. Still, I was secretly hoping that Mr Wolfowitz would do what he said.

Corruption is a chronic problem in many developing countries and it is so bad that whoever is not corrupt is often outcast rather than praised. On the other hand, on international level, often these countries are condemned by developed countries as not doing enough to fight corruption. It made me thought rather highly of the developed countries.

So, the Britain’s decision to stop probing into corruption allegation with Saudi Arabia was quite a blow to its image. If even in the military industry – high-level security industry and dominated by developed countries – no agreement can be achieved for not practising corruption, there is little hope to expect better situation for other industries.

The developed countries should have been hold responsible if they kept offering non-stated money because it would exacerbate the corruption practices in borrowing countries. The World Bank’s initiative to fight corruption internally and externally is a good start.

Let’s hope it is determined enough to pursue it till the end, and perhaps pull other countries to do the same.

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