US, Germany, Japan, India as major donors: Afghans

India has been identified by people of the war-torn country as their fourth major donor, according to a new survey.

Last Updated: Nov 17, 2011, 15:09 PM IST

Washington: India, which has made a
financial aid contribution of USD 2 billion to Afghanistan,
has been identified by people of the war-torn country as their
fourth major donor after the US, Germany and Japan, according
to a new survey.

The poll entitled "Afghanistan in 2011: A Survey of the
Afghan People, which was conducted by the Washington-based
think-tank Asia Foundation, was released here yesterday.

All respondents were asked which country they think has
provided the most aid for the projects they are aware of in
their area or district.

India is most often identified in the South West (10 per
cent) and East (eight per cent).

While nearly half (46 per cent) of Afghans say their
country is moving in the right direction, more respondents
than at any time since the Asia Foundation began polling there
in 2004 say Afghanistan is headed in the wrong direction.

According to the poll of 6,348 Afghan citizens, more than
a third (35 per cent) of those polled say things are moving in
the wrong direction citing insecurity, including attacks,
violence and terrorism, as the main reason for pessimism.

More than a quarter of respondents (27 per cent) say the
US has provided the most aid for projects implemented in their
local area.

This is a significant drop from previous years (48 per
cent in 2006, 44 per cent in 2007, 46 per cent in 2008, 41 per
cent in 2009).

Respondents also identified Germany (seven per cent),
Japan (six per cent), India (four per cent) and Britain (two
per cent) as supporting projects locally, followed by China,
Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Canada, France, Sweden, Provincial
Reconstruction Teams (PRTs), Pakistan, Italy, Spain, Norway,
Denmark, the National Solidarity Programme, UN agencies and
Poland.

One fifth of respondents (20 per cent) say they are not
aware of any development projects in their area.
"Security is the biggest problem for Afghans," said Asia
Foundation President David D Arnold.

Afghans told the Asia Foundation that issues of security
and conflict influence their perceptions about the future. "We
are encouraged by higher levels of satisfaction in access to
education, drinking water, health services and growing
confidence in the role of public institutions," Arnold said.

"The priority now is to integrate these findings into
useful guideposts for future development efforts by the
Afghanistan government and the international community,"
Arnold said.

Overall, 35 per cent of Afghan citizens in 2011 say the
country is moving in the wrong direction ? an increase of
eight per cent from 2010.

The main reason cited for pessimism is insecurity,
reported by 45 per cent of the respondents who say that the
country is moving in the wrong direction. This is followed by
corruption (16 per cent), bad government (15 per cent) and
unemployment (13 per cent).

PTI