"While there is a great deal of variation in the responses based on region, province, urban versus rural, education level, income, and gender, the 2013 survey findings give reason for cautious optimism as Afghans move into critical elections and security transition in 2014."
The Asia Foundation today released Afghanistan in 2013: A Survey of the Afghan People. In July, local pollsters interviewed a nationally representative sample of 9,260 Afghan men and women face-to-face in all 34 provinces. Afghans cite insecurity (30%), corruption (26%), and unemployment (25%) as the three biggest problems facing Afghanistan as a country. Afghans identified unemployment (27%), electricity (24%), and roads (19%) as the biggest problems locally. More than half of Afghans polled say that the outcome of the 2014 election will make a positive difference in their lives, but 81% are concerned about election-day security. The 2013 survey is the Foundation's ninth annual survey of Afghan citizens in all 34 provinces and is the longest-running poll in the country. Since 2004, over 55,000 Afghans have been interviewed. The findings were released today in Kabul, Afghanistan and Canberra, Australia.
Afghanistan is approaching major security and political transitions in 2014—the April presidential election and the December deadline to withdraw international armed forces. Against this backdrop, the survey provides empirical data and illuminates citizen views on critical issues in Afghanistan: the elections, security, political participation, the economy and employment, and women's rights.
"Despite a turbulent year, Afghans are resilient and remain optimistic," said Abdullah Ahmadzai, The Asia Foundation's deputy country representative in Afghanistan. "While the survey reveals a strong sense of unease and fear, Afghans are hopeful about the outcome of the upcoming election and the government's reconciliation efforts to stabilize Afghanistan."