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Survey: Afghans fear insecurity

Nov. 15, 2012 at 8:37 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Afghans are most concerned about security, corruption and availability of jobs as U.S. troops prepare to leave the country, an Asia Foundation survey said.

Despite the concerns, the report, "Afghanistan in 2012: A Survey of the Afghan People," released Wednesday, found Afghans are the more optimistic about the country's future than they have been since the annual survey began in 2004, Khaama Press reported.

Of those surveyed, 52 percent said they thought the country was moving the right direction, up from 46 percent in 2011. More than half said they feel their families are more prosperous now than they were under Taliban rule.

Nearly 80 percent of respondents said political corruption was a major concern, Khaama reported, in addition to concerns about job availability and security once U.S.-led NATO troops pull out by the end of 2014.

"Security continues to be the biggest indicator of both optimism and pessimism for Afghans." said Abdullah Ahmadzai, the deputy representative for Afghanistan with the Asia Foundation.

Andrew Wilder, director of Afghanistan and Pakistan Programs in the U.S. Institute of Peace, said the war has created an economic bubble where jobs in the security sector, reconstruction and development are plentiful.

"We'll see a sharp reduction in foreign aid as troops decrease, so we'll see a drop in those sectors as well," he said. "If I were an Afghan, I'd be concerned about jobs moving forward," he said.

The sample size, margin of error and date the survey was taken were not reported.

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