Fear for safety among Afghans at highest level for a decade: survey

Source:AFP Published: 2015-11-17 23:28:02

Afghans fear for their safety more than at any time in over a decade, according to an annual survey published Tuesday, which also found confidence in the government at its lowest since polling began.

Some 67.4 percent of Afghans say they are worried about their well-being at all times, often, or sometimes, the highest figure since the survey began in 2004, and up 2 percentage points from a year earlier.

Only around one-third of people questioned in the Asia Foundation's annual survey believed the country is "moving in the right direction," down from over half in 2014 and 58 percent in 2013 - record-breaking years for optimism in a country ravaged by a war that has pitted foreign-backed government forces against Taliban rebels since 2001.

Some 57.5 percent of Afghans believe their country is not improving. They cite insecurity, unemployment and corruption as the main scourges that plague Afghan society.

Optimism for the future was at its highest in the southern province of Helmand - a Taliban stronghold - and lowest in Kabul, according to the survey.

Bombings, kidnappings, unemployment and an economy that has failed to take off are the most frequently cited factors for Afghans wishing to migrate, legally or illegally, to Europe.

Afghans are the second most numerous nationality after Syrians to be sweeping into Europe with the aid of human traffickers. "This year's survey shows that Afghan optimism about the overall direction of the country fell to the lowest point in a decade, after steadily rising through 2014," noted the Asia Foundation, which highlighted the prevailing scepticism toward the government of President Ashraf Ghani.

blog comments powered by Disqus