23
In a survey of 54 countries, the 1996 Transparency International
Corruption Perception Index
6
found six Asian countries among the
eleven USAID assisted countries in the South Asian and East Asia
region to have been perceived as corrupt.
Three of these
countries, Philippines, Indonesia, and China, experienced rapid
growth; others, India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, face continuing
barriers to trade and growth.
In FY 1998 1999, we will consider
the possibility of a regional activity to address specific
problems of accountability and transparency in state economic
transactions.
Of 14 countries in the Near East, South Asia and East Asia in
which USAID implements programs, there has been an increase in
the "not free" status countries from 4 (29%) in 1993 to 6 (43%)
in 1996.
Lebanon and Cambodia joined Indonesia, Vietnam, West
Bank and Gaza, and Egypt in the "not free" category.
The number
of countries classified as "free" increased with the Philippines
joining Mongolia.
By the end of FY 1999, with the probable
addition of democracy activities in several countries without
USAID missions, there will be a net increase in the number of
"not free" countries.
However, we expect a slight improvement
in overall country status in the region among countries where
USAID had programs in 1996.
Latin America and the Caribbean:
While democratic electoral
processes and rule of law are improving, many citizens in Latin
America and the Caribbean cannot yet effectively participate in
their political systems.
Indigenous groups in Guatemala,
southern Mexico, and the Andean region are still largely excluded
from political life.
Democracy has become the common guiding
principle for economic growth and social development in the
region.
A major regional trend toward decentralization has
strengthened the potential role of local governments in promoting
government responsiveness and civic participation.
While non 
democratic pressures persist in many areas, over the next year,
USAID expects to build on the success of justice and
administrative policy reforms and civil society activities.
These activities will contribute to improved effectiveness,
efficiency, and access to the justice systems in a number of
countries in the region.
The recent signing of the peace accords in Guatemala marked a
triumphant event for the country and the international community.
Developed for Transparency International, a not for profit, non 
governmental organization, the Corruption Perception Index is based on seven
international surveys of business people, political analysts and the general
public.
It reflects their perception of corruption in 52 countries.
The seven
international surveys are Gallup International, the World Competitiveness
Yearbook, Political & Economic Risk Consultancy in Hong Kong, DRI/McGraw Hill
Global Risk Service, Political Risk Services in Syracuse, USA, and data gathered
from internet sources.
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