Survey reveals 3rd of Afghans say things are deteriorating
KABUL (PAN): The proportion of Afghans who say the country is heading in the wrong direction has increased to 35 percent, showing an eight percent increase from last year, says a survey released on Tuesday.
The poll by the Kabul-based Asia Foundation said more than half of the 6,300 interviewees reported fearing for their lives on a daily basis, more than double the 2006 number. The percentage who said things were getting worse was the highest since the foundation started the poll in 2004.
Among those who see a deterioration, security was cited by 45pc as the main reason for their pessimism, followed by corruption by 16pc, bad government with 15pc, and unemployment as a growing problem by 13 percent. Violence and security incidents have increased this year by 39 percent, the UN said in September.
The survey, conducted across all 34 provinces between July and August, also found that four in every five respondents support the government's approach of negotiation with and integration of insurgents. The Taliban has been fighting the international and Afghan forces since their ouster from Kabul in 2001.
Lately, the government has initiated peace talks with the armed leadership, but with limited success. Support among the population for the insurgents reached its lowest point this year, the survey revealed, with only 29 percent saying they have some sympathy with the armed groups, indicating a decrease compared to 56 percent in 2009.
Most respondents said their daily needs were being met, with 73 percent reporting access to education for children, and 70 percent saying that drinking water was available to their community.
More than half said they could reach health facilities. Forty-three percent of respondents also reported improvements in the financial well-being of their household, a slight increase from 2010. The national and local governments also scored more highly than in previous years, reaching 73-per-cent and 80-per-cent approval ratings, respectively.
The biggest problem facing Afghan women is illiteracy, a quarter of respondents said. Around 15 per cent said the lack of women's rights was the second-biggest challenge facing the country, up from around 7 per cent in 2010.
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