Washington Babylon — January 21, 2010, 2:15 pm

The Pillars of Afghanistan’s Economy: Drugs and bribes

From a new United Nations report:

Poverty and violence are usually portrayed as the biggest challenges confronting Afghanistan. But ask the Afghans themselves, and you get a different answer: corruption
is their biggest worry. As revealed in this new UNODC report, for an overwhelming 59% of the population the daily experience of public dishonesty is a bigger concern than insecurity (54%) and unemployment (52%).

The report says that bribery and drugs generate nearly $5 billion in revenues per year combined, making them the country’s two leading economic forces.

Oh, but there’s good news too: the report says President Karzai has “recognized that corruption is destroying the economy.” So presumably we can expect fast action from him on this soon.

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