Survey Says Afghans Think Corruption is Worse than Ever

A survey released Monday says a majority of Afghans believe corruption is at its worst in more than 20 years.

About 60 percent of those polled said the administration of President Hamid Karzai is more corrupt than any government since the 1980s, including the Taleban and Soviet-backed communist governments.

Almost all of those surveyed (93 percent) said they believe paying bribes are necessary for basic public services. About half of those survey said they had actually paid a bribe.

The organization that conducted the survey, Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA), said the perception of corruption is so bad that it undermines the legitimacy of the government.

The group also said corruption has directly affected national security. The watchdog group said the growing unrest in southern Afghanistan is in part related to the inability of the government to deal with corruption.

About 1,250 Afghans were questioned for the survey.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.