Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Corruption In Afghanistan

Afghanistan - a country that is known for so many things. Most of these are related to endless wars, conflict, suicide bombers, destruction, poverty and death; few stories describe the beauty of this country. The poetry, the astonishingly high mountains, the turquoise glass that brings the ocean closer to a landlocked country and, above anything else, the voices of the people are often not heard. Like most countries in the world, the social tissue lives on the gestures average people extend to their neighbours, colleagues, friends and common strangers. But what is it that people talk about when they sit for tea and break Naan? Security of course, Family naturally, and increasingly so: Corruption

Afghanistan is considered to be one of the most corrupt countries in the world, only after Somalia and Burma. Yet, compared to these two countries and the vast majority of the world, it is also one of the highest recipients of foreign aid and assistance. The international community has helped Afghanistan with money and expertise for over ten years, yet the country is 158 in the Human Development Index for 2011 and scores the lowest of any Asian, Latin American or European Country. Around 550 children die every day of preventable causes and one woman dies every 30 minutes due to pregnancy related complications which could be avoided if proper health care education and services were available. Although Afghanistan has fought hard to achieve development, public service delivery faces many challenges, including corruption. According to our own survey, we can see that one in seven adults have to pay a bribe to acquire a public service and one billion dollars was taken in bribes from average citizens in 2009.

When people talk about corruption in Afghanistan, they think about the millions of dollars that are smuggled to Dubai, they think about Kabul Bank, they think about the rich who become richer, they think about the golden boy who got promoted but few people think about the average farmer who earns 500 USD a year and how that will impact his household of 7.What are the stories of average Afghans? How does corruption impact their everyday life? How does corruption limit the life of people?

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