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Corruption Is Greatest Challenge in Afghanistan after Violent Conflict: UN Envoy

(Last Updated On: August 5, 2018)

The UN envoy in Kabul says corruption is Afghanistan’s next greatest challenge after violent conflict in the war-torn country.

Speaking at a press conference in Kabul, following the release of UNAMA’s second anti-corruption report, titled ‘Afghanistan’s Fight against Corruption: From Strategies to Implementation,’ Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN representative for Afghanistan said: “Allow me to recognize up front how corruption affects the Afghan people.”

“If you are an Afghan citizen trying to make ends meet, apply for a license, open a business, or just get your child into a decent school, you know more than any of our legal experts about corruption. I think the word in Dari is “fessad” – if I pronounced it correctly. It is, if I might suggest, a very unwelcome and unfortunate aspect of your everyday life,” Yamamoto said who is also head of UNAMA.

 “Apart from violent conflict, Afghanistan’s next greatest challenge, according to opinion polls, including that of the Asia Foundation, is corruption. And yet, Afghanistan’s fight against corruption, under the current Government, is moving ahead with a new vigour,” the UN envoy said.

The UNAMA report analyses the contributions made by civil society and independent institutions, along with all three branches of government – the executive, the legislative and the judiciary.

The report also identifies the need to accelerate justice reforms in the interest of improving the lives of all Afghan people. It describes Afghanistan’s new anti-corruption strategy as a strong tool, but notes that a short-term strategy will have limited impact.

“It has become clear that all Afghan institutions, along with all segments of society, must now engage in fighting corruption to rebuild integrity, accountability and transparency in the country, with a long-term agenda,” the envoy said.

 The report makes several recommendations, recognizing that the government’s ongoing anti-corruption efforts have yet to impact the lives of most Afghans, and concludes that, notwithstanding the many legal and policy reforms that have been undertaken, corruption continues to be a substantial obstacle to Afghanistan’s long-term peace and prosperity.

“While Afghanistan has made significant and notable progress in fighting corruption, new reform strategies and laws have yet to be fully applied to bring tangible benefits to Afghans suffering from the impact of corruption,” said the UN envoy. “We are confident our recommendations will be well received and will help Afghanistan in advancing its anti-corruption reform agenda.”

By Shakib Mahmud

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