Tuesday, March 30, 2010

UN: Afghanistan corruption abuses human rights

A new United Nations report says that the Afghanistan government has widespread corruption that takes a large share of the security aid flowing into the nation. The UN report calls on the world to focus more on long term help for the nation instead of short term security. The corruption increases the poverty felt in Afghanistan, and the UN says it is an abuse of human rights.

From the BBC, we find more of the report's claims.

"The [Afghan] government is often unable to deliver basic services, such as security, food or shelter," the 26-page UN report says.

It stresses that "widespread corruption further limits access to services for a large proportion of the population", blaming Afghan officials of advancing their own interests at the expense of the general public.

It notes that Afghanistan still has the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world and the third highest rate of child mortality.

"Only 23% of the population have access to safe drinking water and only 24% above the age of 15 can read and write," said Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the office of the UN human rights commissioner.

"And basically the main conclusion is that the abuse of power is the key driver of poverty in Afghanistan, vested interests frequently shape the public agenda whether in relations to law, policy or the allocation of resources," Mr Colville said.

The document says abusive power structures should be tackled as a matter of urgency.

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