VIENNA, 19 January (UN Information Service) - A report on Corruption in Afghanistan, released today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), shows that the Afghan people regard corruption as their biggest problem. An overwhelming 59 per cent of the population said that their daily experience of public dishonesty is a bigger concern than insecurity (54 per cent) or unemployment (52 per cent). "The Afghans say that it is impossible to obtain a public service without paying a bribe," says UNODC Executive Director, Antonio Maria Costa.
The report is based on interviews with 7,600 people in 12 provincial capitals and more than 1,600 villages around Afghanistan. It records the real experiences (rather than just the perceptions) of urban as well as rural dwellers, men and women between autumn 2008 and autumn 2009.
Part of everyday life
The report shows that graft is part of everyday life in Afghanistan. During the survey period, one Afghan out of two had to pay at least one kickback to a public official. More than half of the time (56 per cent), the request for illicit payment was an explicit demand by the service provider. In most instances (three quarters of the cases), baksheesh (bribes) are paid in cash. The average bribe is US$160 in a country where GDP per capita is a mere US$425 per year. "Bribery is a crippling tax on people who are already among the world's poorest," said Mr. Costa.
Largest income generators
The problem is enormous by any standards. In the aggregate, Afghans paid out US$2.5 billion in bribes over the past 12 months - that's equivalent to almost one quarter (23 per cent) of Afghanistan's (licit) GDP. By coincidence, this is similar to the revenue accrued by the opium trade in 2009 (which UNODC estimates at US$2.8 billion). "Drugs and bribes are the two largest income generators in Afghanistan: together they correspond to about half the country's (licit) GDP," says the head of UNODC.
continuação aqui: "Drain the Swamp of Corruption in Afghanistan," Says UNODC.