The international community should support the Afghan government in developing a national anti-corruption strategy. The Afghanistan National Development Strategy, which is scheduled for release in March 2008, is expected to include this strategy. This must include concrete anti-corruption steps for the Afghan government to take, such as requiring that government officials declare their assets publicly. The Afghan government should establish a high-level committee to implement this strategy and coordinate efforts across the Afghan government.
While levels of corruption vary by location, sector, and ministry in the Afghan government, corruption is endemic and undermines the government’s effectiveness. The combination of drug money and international aid with historically weak institutions has created massive opportunities for corruption.
Afghanistan now ranks in the 2nd or 3rd lowest percentile of distribution on the index used by the World Bank to calculate corruption. Integrity Watch released a survey in March 2007, which found that half of the 1,250 people polled across the country had paid bribes in the previous year and almost all perceive that one in every two people employed in government or public service is corrupt. This subversion of state authority has undermined the provision of security and services and weakened popular faith in the government.
For more information on the Center for American Progress’ comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan, see: