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Tips Femeninos | Basil Jarrett | Corruption during crises

Venezuela

SOME WAYS TO GO Corruption has long bled this country of valuable resources. Social welfare, national security, infrastructural development and education have all been hampered as a result of theft, widespread corruption and inappropriate conduct among public officials

Corruption and COVID. Two words that, aside from the fact that they both start with the letter C, couldn’t be any further apart in terms of the reaction they elicit from Jamaicans. One immediately generates anxiety, fear, frustration and a longing for life to return to normal. The other triggers a loud, clear and resounding … meh!

Jamaicans have a strange, uneasy coexistence with corruption. We decry our politicians when it happens in big government, but will look the other way while sliding a few dollars under the table to get out of a traffic ticket.

Part of the reason that we have such a high corruption index – the fourth highest in the Caribbean, I’m told – stems from the pervasive sentiment that corruption is only wrong when we aren’t benefiting from it. Most Jamaicans take a legalistic view of corruption and have a hard time seeing the direct link between corruption and some of our most pressing social maladies, such as poverty, crime and poor infrastructural development.

But a few weeks ago, when our nurses stayed away from work to protest low wages, poor working conditions and limited access to personal protective equipment and other essential tools, our healthcare sector appeared on the brink of a crisis, raising fresh questions about Jamaica’s ability to fund its COVID fight.

SOME WAYS TO GO Corruption has long bled this country of valuable resources. Social welfare, national security, infrastructural development and education have all been hampered as a result of theft, widespread corruption and inappropriate conduct among public officials.

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