Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

Corruption Hampers Development and Security

Today, December 09, is being celebrated in different countries of the world under the theme: United Against Corruption for Development, Peace and Security. The international campaign, in this regard, is focused on corruption as one of the biggest impediments to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It highlights that corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune to it.
As per the statistics by United Nations (UN) every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes while an estimated $2.6 trillion are stolen annually through corruption – a sum equivalent to more than 5 per cent of the global GDP. In developing countries, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.
These facts and figures show that corruption is one of the ugliest problems within a society.
Corruption is troublesome because it can hamper not only development but peace and security as well. Our country Afghanistan stands as a clear example. Rampant corruption in the country has hampered development work and given rise to many social evils. It has also fueled instability and supported the insurgents; particularly through drug production and smuggling. It has incapacitated Afghan institutions and made them rely on nepotism and favoritism. The skills and capacities of the talented youngsters have not been utilized and, therefore, the trust and confidence on the institutions have further receded.
Unfortunately, the government has been reluctant to take any considerable measure and resultantly this menace has kept on rising. National Unity Government (NUG), in its initial days, promised that it would play a definitive role in curbing the menace of corruption, but unfortunately, it soon forgot its promises and little has been achieved so far. Therefore, the situation has further deteriorated for the country and raised further concerns. Although the time was ripe for the leadership to carry out honest and determined efforts to tackle the social problems.
Corruption, along with insecurity and unemployment, is among the three most dominant problems in Afghanistan. Most of the people in Afghanistan face different sorts of corruption almost on daily basis. As per calculations from Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) Afghans pay more than $3 billion dollars per year in corruption. Usage of such a large amount of money for the purposes other than development and betterment of the country does not only spoil the money, it also causes other types of issues as well, which are mostly related to illegal means. Terrorism also usurps a large portion of this money indirectly. Unfortunately, in the presence of such a scenario, it is weird to find that the political will to fight corruption does not exist and no such efforts in this regard have been made that could have a positive impact on people’s lives and that is why people are dissatisfied with the government.
Today, corruption has penetrated deep into our social fabric. It is now a part of routine life to be corrupt. From a very minor to the most major matter, we find corruption ruling the roost.
One of the major problems in tackling with corruption in our country is that the controlling mechanism itself is involved in it. The government that should be on the forefront to curb this menace, itself has been a major contributor in this regard. There have been many major occasions of corruption when current administration has been blamed for being directly involved in the matter. On most of the occasions the government has blamed the Western supporters to be generating corruption in the country. Western allies, on the other hand, have kept on insisting that Afghan authorities must carry out serious measures to curb the overgrowing corruption; however, the outcome is yet to be produced in this regard. The Western allies have spent billions of dollars in supporting the Afghan government and people but the outcomes have not been satisfactory as they have not been very much careful in this regard. And already much of the money has been misused by corruption.
Nevertheless, in the process, the supporters of Afghanistan have lost their trust from the Afghan authorities and are mostly disappointed from what has been achieved after more than a decade of expenditure and hard work.
Corruption in Afghanistan is now a complex phenomenon that requires extensive efforts from both national and international authorities to be comprehended and resolved. Definitely, the anti-corruption institutions, equipped with authority and facilities can be major contributors in curbing it and Afghan government needs to support them appropriately.
International community and international organizations, on other hand, must also ensure that the aid that they provide through different NGO’s should not be misused. There should be strong control and monitoring mechanism and it should be made sure that the aid money must reach the needy and deserving people of Afghanistan; otherwise, the aid would further deteriorate Afghan society instead of doing it any good.