Corruption, fraud and money-laundering cost poor countries a total of $1.0 trillion a year, the anti-poverty organisation ONE said in a study released yesterday.
The group, founded by U2 rock group singer Bono, said the misuse of funds resulted in $38-64 billion a year in uncollected taxes alone.
The study was published before finance ministers from the G20 group of leading countries meet in Australia on September 20 and 21.
To put the $1tr (750bn euros) in perspective, ONE said that it was equivalent to the annual profits all the 86 biggest publicly quoted companies in the world.
It blamed the loss on “a web of corrupt activity that involves shady deals for natural resources, the use of anonymous shell companies, money-laundering and illegal tax evasion.” “Massive sums are being taken out of developing countries’ own budgets and economies, preventing them from financing their own fight against extreme poverty, disease, and hunger,” the study said.
If policies were put in place to combat corruption by means of financial secrecy, deals on natural resources and money-laundering, the cost of corruption could be reduced “dramatically”, the report said.