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Tackling Corruption

“Corruption is a problem that all countries have to confront. Solution, however, can only be home-grown. National leaders need to take a stand.” (October 1, 1996, remarks given at joint Annual Meetings between the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, "People and Development")

James D. Wolfensohn


In 1996, World Bank President James Wolfensohn identified corruption as a major inhibitor of development and a crippling tax on the poor.  The Bank views corruption as a symptom and a cause of institutional deficiencies, thriving where economic policies are poorly designed, competition is weak, education levels are low, civil society is underdeveloped, and the accountability of public institutions is weak. That is why the Bank's holistic approach to combating corruption seeks to help developing countries strengthen governance through reforms in public sector management, economic policies and legal systems. It also supports country initiatives to develop and implement specific anti-corruption measures.


To the Bank’s Anticorruption website:


For more information on Bank activities in governance and public sector reform, see


Read the World Bank's strategy paper on governance and public sector, and its subsequent updates:

Reforming Public Institutions and Strengthening Governance: A World Bank Strategy


To Europe and Central Asia (ECA)'s Governance and Anticorruption website, including links to reports on anticorruption efforts in ECA: and anticorruption?opendocument


The World Bank is the first multilateral development bank to publish on its external web page the names of firms and individuals found to have committed some form of fraud or corruption: Learn more





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