Afghans identify US, Germany, Japan, India as major donors

Afghans identify US, Germany, Japan, India as major donors

The poll entitled "Afghanistan in 2011: A Survey of the Afghan People, which was conducted by the Washington-based think-tank Asia Foundation, was released here yesterday.

All respondents were asked which country they think has provided the most aid for the projects they are aware of in their area or district.

India is most often identified in the South West (10 per cent) and East (eight per cent).

While nearly half (46 per cent) of Afghans say their country is moving in the right direction, more respondents than at any time since the Asia Foundation began polling there in 2004 say Afghanistan is headed in the wrong direction.

According to the poll of 6,348 Afghan citizens, more than a third (35 per cent) of those polled say things are moving in the wrong direction citing insecurity, including attacks, violence and terrorism, as the main reason for pessimism.

More than a quarter of respondents (27 per cent) say the US has provided the most aid for projects implemented in their local area.

This is a significant drop from previous years (48 per cent in 2006, 44 per cent in 2007, 46 per cent in 2008, 41 per cent in 2009). Respondents also identified Germany (seven per cent), Japan (six per cent), India (four per cent) and Britain (two per cent) as supporting projects locally, followed by China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Canada, France, Sweden, Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs), Pakistan, Italy, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the National Solidarity Programme, UN agencies and Poland.

One fifth of respondents (20 per cent) say they are not aware of any development projects in their area.

"Security is the biggest problem for Afghans," said Asia Foundation President David D Arnold.

Afghans told the Asia Foundation that issues of security and conflict influence their perceptions about the future. "We are encouraged by higher levels of satisfaction in access to education, drinking water, health services and growing confidence in the role of public institutions," Arnold said.

"The priority now is to integrate these findings into useful guideposts for future development efforts by the Afghanistan government and the international community," Arnold said.

Overall, 35 per cent of Afghan citizens in 2011 say the country is moving in the wrong direction – an increase of eight per cent from 2010.

The main reason cited for pessimism is insecurity, reported by 45 per cent of the respondents who say that the country is moving in the wrong direction. This is followed by corruption (16 per cent), bad government (15 per cent) and unemployment (13 per cent).