A report released Tuesday says several South Asian nations are perceived to be among the world's most corrupt, with Afghanistan ranking as the second most corrupt country in the world.
The group Transparency International graded South Asian nations on a 10-point scale with zero being the most corrupt. The Berlin-based group gave every South Asian nation except Bhutan a score of four points out of 10 or less.
Afghanistan and Burma both received a 1.4, tying for second next to Somalia as the most corrupt nation in the world in a ranking of 178 nations.
Among other South Asian countries, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan got a score of 1.6 on the group's Corruption Perceptions Index. Kyrgyzstan was ranked as the region's next most corrupt, followed by Tajikistan, Nepal and Pakistan, which ranked 2.3. India has a score of 3.3.
Bhutan received a 5.7, making it South Asia's least corrupt nation.
Corruption remains a key obstacle to tackling some of the world's most pressing problems, said Transparency International, including instability in financial markets, poverty and climate change. The group urged governments to integrate anti-corruption measures in all areas, such as international commitments to fight poverty.
Perceptions were used to rank corruption because the group said graft is largely hidden and difficult to measure. Over time, according to the group, the perceptions have proven to be a reliable estimate of corruption.