The country scored only 2.5 points on the CPI which has a scale from one “highly corrupt” to ten “highly clean”. Lebanon’s rank depreciated on the index from the 102nd position last year.
Commenting on the results, Gaelle Kibranian, Program Director of the Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA), said in an interview, that “the CPI is a perception index and the ranking shows that people have developed a growing acquaintance on the corruption issue by now.”
Kibranian added that the civil society’s increasing efforts to curb corruption over the past year “have raised awareness and knowledge on the pressing issue which has weighted on the ranking.”
Among the 20 Arab states included in the survey, the country received a poor position and came in the 14th place. Kibranian said that Lebanon’s poor position compared to its neighboring Arab States is due to that freedom of expression, that is available in Lebanon and absent in other countries, compelled us “to admit that we suffer from the problem and seek mechanisms to solve it.”
In its remarks, TI said that the country is seen “as a highly corrupt one despite the fact that corruption is still considered as a principal obstacle that stands in the way of its development.”
TI added that the country needs to enforce legal and institutional frameworks coupled with effective regulations to enhance its position.
Kibranian unveiled that a number of ministries are cooperating with LTA in its anti-corruption efforts, including the Ministry of Finance, Internal Affairs, Economy and Trade, and Justice. She also expects the number of ministries to grow with the formation of the new government “which has vowed for anti-corruption manners.”
One of LTA’s anti-corruption campaigns is the “Youth Against Corruption” program. The program which aims to spread awareness on the critical corruption issue is addressed to citizens starting from school students- at age seven.
Another program is addressed to private sector institutions, including banks, SMEs and other organizations. LTA organizes regular workshops “to address employees on tools and methods they should adopt to restrain corruption while performing their daily duties,” said Kibranian.
In the report, the MENA region was perceived as one of the most corrupt regions worldwide with only five countries out of all surveyed receiving a score of five points or above. The organization said that the results reflect “how conflict and political turmoil hamper the effectiveness of anti-corruption efforts in the specified region.”
Qatar was considered as the least corrupted in the Arab World scoring 7 points. Iraq and Yemen were considered the most two corrupt countries in the Arab World with a score of 2.1 and 1.5 respectively.
TI’s CPI index measures the perceived level of public-sector corruption in 180 countries as seen by business people, academics and analysts. It is based on 13 different expert and business surveys.