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Overview of Corruption in MENA Countries

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Although the MENA region is characterised by the paucity of empirical data on corruption, experts agree that corruption is widespread and deeply rooted in the political infrastructure of the state (mainly monarchies or authoritarian regimes), the institutional infrastructure of the public sector (very large, overstaffed and with low wages) and limited opportunities for participation. As a result, most countries in the region perform especially poorly on indicators of transparency, voice and accountability. Donor efforts in the region have mainly focussed on enhancing democratic processes and public participation through broader governance initiatives. As the only applicable international anti-corruption instrument in the region, the UNCAC could potentially provide a very valuable complementary entry point for anti-corruption reform in the region.
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