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Corruption is Major challenge to ending extreme poverty

Corruption has a disproportionate impact on the poor and most vulnerable, increasing costs and reducing access to services, including health, education and justice. Think, for example, of the effect of counterfeit drugs or vaccinations on the health outcomes of children and the life-long impacts that may have on them.

Empirical studies have shown that the poor pay the highest percentage of their income in bribes. Every stolen dollar, euro, peso, yuan, rupee, or rouble robs the poor of an equal opportunity in life and prevents governments from investing in their human capital

Corruption erodes trust in government and undermines the social contract, particularly in contexts of fragility and violence, as corruption fuels and perpetuates the inequalities and discontent that lead to fragility, violent extremism, and conflict.

Corruption impedes investment, with consequent effects on growth and jobs. Countries capable of confronting corruption use their human and financial resources more efficiently, attract more investment, and grow more rapidly.

Corruption comes in different forms. It might impact service delivery, such as when police officers ask for bribes to perform routine services. Corruption might unfairly determine the winners of government contracts, with awards favouring friends or relatives of government officials. Or it might affect more fundamental issues of capture, such as how institutions work and who controls them, a form of corruption that is often the costliest in terms of overall economic impact. Each type of corruption is important and tackling all of them is critical to achieving progress and sustainable change.