Statement by Administrator Samantha Power on Anti-Corruption

Press Release Shim

Speeches Shim

For Immediate Release

Friday, June 4, 2021

The Biden-Harris administration has been clear that combating corruption is a key domestic and foreign policy priority. Yesterday, in line with that commitment, President Biden released a National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) that establishes the fight against corruption as a core national security interest of the United States. USAID applauds President Biden’s leadership in acknowledging that corruption poses a deep threat to U.S national security, shared prosperity, and democracy itself.

As the world’s largest bilateral donor, USAID knows that corruption fundamentally undermines development progress across all sectors—whether health, education, economic growth, or building resilience to climate change. Corruption robs developing countries of an estimated $1.26 trillion annually, while destabilizing democratic societies, undermining the rule of law, and diminishing the integrity of democratic institutions. Authoritarians have weaponized corruption to consolidate their rule and undermine confidence in democratic processes and norms. And in many USAID partner countries, corruption fuels violence, funds transnational criminal and terrorist enterprises, and perpetuates the trafficking of drugs, arms, and people. Tragically, as we are seeing in the context of COVID-19, corruption impedes the integrity of emergency responses and humanitarian efforts to deliver life-saving resources to affected and vulnerable communities.

The NSSM launches the development of a first-of-its-kind, whole-of-U.S. Government strategy that will allow the United States to leverage its broad range of tools to tackle the scourge of corruption. USAID is prepared to robustly support implementation of the NSSM, including by expanding and accelerating our efforts to build local capacity to prevent, detect, mitigate, and sanction corruption; strengthening oversight, accountability, and justice sector institutions; supporting open government and transparency norms; and empowering civil society and media reformers to uncover corruption and hold governments to account.

Last updated: September 12, 2022

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