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Overview of Anticorruption continued...

The Bank has identified corruption as among the greatest obstacles to economic and social development. It undermines development by distorting the rule of law and weakening the institutional foundation on which economic growth depends.

The harmful effects of corruption are especially severe on the poor, who are hardest hit by economic decline, are most reliant on the provision of public services, and are least capable of paying the extra costs associated with bribery, fraud, and the misappropriation of economic privileges.

Corruption sabotages policies and programs that aim to reduce poverty, so attacking corruption is critical to the achievement of the Bank's overarching mission of poverty reduction. We believe that an effective anticorruption strategy builds on five key elements:

1. Increasing Political Accountability
2. Strengthening Civil Society Participation
3. Creating a Competitive Private Sector
4. Institutional Restraints on Power
5. Improving Public Sector Management

To reduce the corrosive impact of corruption in a sustainable way, it is important to go beyond the symptoms to tackle the causes of corruption. Since 1996, the World Bank has supported more than 600 anticorruption programs and governance initiatives developed by its member countries