UN: Half of all Afghans bribed public officials

The cost of corruption in Afghanistan has risen sharply and half of all citizens paid a bribe to public officials last year, a new United Nations study said.

More than 11 years after a US-led invasion led to billions of dollars in aid flowing into one of the world’s poorest countries, Afghanistan ranks among the most corrupt nations on earth.

And Western nations due to pull their troops out next year have linked future financial support to a crackdown on graft.

The report by the UN office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Afghanistan’s anti-corruption unit says that while there has been “some tangible progress”, the total cost of corruption increased to $3.9bn (€2.9bn) in 2012 — 40% up on 2009.

“The bribes that Afghan citizens paid in 2012 equals double Afghanistan’s domestic revenue, or one-fourth of the Tokyo pledge,” the report says, referring to the $16bn promised by donors at a conference in Japan last year.

More than 68% of those surveyed considered it acceptable for a civil servant to top up a low salary by accepting small bribes — up from 42% in 2009.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

Breaking Stories

Hamas closes Gaza crossing with Israel after senior militant shot dead

Al Qaida boss behind deadly attacks killed in Afghan strike, according to Pentagon

Bus siege gunman surrenders after fatal shooting on Las Vegas strip

Murdered PC's family praises life-saving efforts of helpers

Lifestyle

Layer up to create a cosy, comfortable home

Tips on how to keep a lawn in good shape

Conversations with Grandma: Four writers talk feminism and life with their grandmothers

Cooking with kids: Darina Allen’s recipes for Mother’s Day

More From The Irish Examiner