Poverty And CorruptionCorruption has been a constant obstacle for countries trying to bring out the political, economic and social changes desired for their development. It is from the middle classes that the great ones of the world come. Here the forces very equality adjusted and balanced. Across different country contexts, corruption has been a cause and consequence of poverty. Corruption on the part of governments, the private sector and citizens affects development initiatives at their very root by skewing decision-making, budgeting and implementation processes. When these actors abuse their entrusted power for private gain, corruption denies the participation of citizens and diverts public resources into private hands. The poor find themselves at the losing end of this corruption chain — without state support and the services they demand.
Is Poverty A Cause of Corruption
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The fact that the poor are the hardest hit by corruption in the water and sanitation services WSS sector is almost unanimously agreed upon. Corruption contributes to the failure to enforce laws meant to protect water sources from encroachment and pollution, produces discriminatory outcomes in water flows and irrigation patterns in favour of the powerful, leads to poor quality water infrastructure and fatally undermines fair and affordable access to water and sanitation. It consequentially exacerbates the already precarious lives and livelihoods of the poor — especially where these are related to other vulnerabilities such as gender, age or ethnicity — and reduces their ability to escape poverty. Nonetheless, some, albeit rather dated, quantitative estimates do exist, and overall the literature lends some impression of the effect of corruption on the poor, particularly in terms of financial and health-related impact. Such approaches range from scaling up diagnostic efforts, promoting fair competition in procurement, strengthening monitoring and oversight from above and below, and promoting participation in water governance by the poorest and most marginalised in society.
The issue of corruption resonates in developing countries. In the Philippines, for instance, the slogan of the coalition that is likely to win the presidential elections is "Without corrupt officials, there are no poor people. Not surprisingly, the international financial institutions have weighed in. The World Bank has made "good governance" a major thrust of its work, asserting that the "World Bank Group focus on governance and anticorruption GAC follows from its mandate to reduce poverty - a capable and accountable state creates opportunities for poor people, provides better services, and improves development outcomes. Because it erodes trust in government, corruption must certainly be condemned and corrupt officials resolutely prosecuted.
Corruption often conjures up images of people getting rich. But in fact, corruption's connections to poverty are far more numerous and pervasive. Corruption delays, distorts and diverts economic growth. It comes in a variety of forms, and while no two countries are alike, there are common dilemmas for all to see. The links between corruption and poverty affect both individuals and businesses, and they run in both directions: poverty invites corruption, while corruption deepens poverty.