This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Corruption Kills

Let's suppose that you have a disease for which there is a cure and someone says they will pay for the cure. But they give the money to a middle person who pockets its, and you die. The direct cause of death is your disease, but the real cause of death is corruption. That kind of scenario may account for as many as 3.6 million deaths per year in the world, according to a new report by the non-profit group One.org, as reported by BBC News.
One describes its findings as a "trillion dollar scandal". Corruption inhibits private investment, reduces economic growth, increases the cost of doing business and can lead to political instability," the report says. 
"But in developing countries, corruption is a killer. When governments are deprived of their own resources to invest in health care, food security or essential infrastructure, it costs lives and the biggest toll is on children." 
The report says that if corruption was eradicated in sub-Saharan Africa:
Education would be provided to an additional 10 million children per year
Money would be available to pay for an additional 500,000 primary school teachers
Antiretroviral drugs for more than 11 million people with HIV/Aids would be provided.
BBC also has a link to a report by Transparency International in 2013 (before the Ebola outbreak) which shows the percentage of the population reporting that they had paid someone a bribe in the previous year. The top two countries were Sierra Leone (84%) and Liberia (75%). Did corruption lead to Ebola? It certainly didn't help, we know that.


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