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The interplay between corruption, poverty and food insecurity

A literature review.

The studies in this review generally conclude that corruption is a contributing factor to poverty. As characteristics of poverty, corruption also exacerbates hunger and food instability. Therefore, controlling corruption is necessary to achieve sustainable development outcomes. To achieve this robust anti-corruption measures should be implemented. These include transparency in public service delivery and donor aid, better accountability in government, oversight, and sanctioning for corrupt actors.

23 January 2024
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The interplay between corruption, poverty and food insecurity

Main points

  • The literature generally points to a correlation between high levels of corruption and poverty and food insecurity, showing that corruption contributes to inequality and hunger worldwide.
  • Corruption is found to reduce economic growth, through curtailing foreign direct investment and increasing the costs of public projects. This affects marginalised communities the most.
  • Investigations in Somalia and Ethiopia have found that food aid was diverted by public officials and other corrupt actors and resold for their personal profit.
  • Recommendations for international donors providing aid coalesce around transparency, due diligence and the use of ICT to increase the accountability of projects. Studies also recommend working with locally led anti-corruption actors to help identify specific risks.

Cite this publication

Maslen, C. (2024) Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Helpdesk Answer 2024:2)

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