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Afghans Most Concerned About Security

July 27, 2004

Kabul, Afghanistan -- IRI today released findings of a nation-wide public opinion survey that showed security as the number one concern of Afghan citizens. The poll also showed that a majority believe life is better today in Afghanistan than two years ago.

Other results include:

  • Ninety-six percent of respondents said their identity was “Afghan” rather than a specific ethnic group.
  • More than 60 percent cited security as their primary concern, followed by reconstruction and economic development.
  • Sixty-four percent say that law and order has improved in the country.
  • Sixty-five percent believe that warlords and local commanders are the main sources of instability in the country.
  • Nine percent see the Taliban as a source of instability in their own particular community, although the Taliban's persistent presence was seen by 32 percent as an obstacle to greater progress nationwide on the reconstruction front.
  • Eighty-three percent believe the government of President Hamid Karzai would have accomplished more without the competing powers in the country.
  • Seventy-seven percent of Afghans believe overall living conditions in the country have improved during the past two years. Ninety percent say conditions are better than five and 10 years back.
  • When asked who they would support for the next President of Afghanistan, 78 percent of respondents said they would vote for Karzai. No other candidate or personality received more than four percent. Support for President Karzai was dominant in every region and ethnic group in the country.
The survey was conducted February 11-April 24, 2004. The data collectors interviewed 2,378 voters from across Afghanistan. The margin of error is 2.05 percent. IRI and Williams & Associates, a U.S.-based survey research firm, processed and analyzed the data. IRI conducted this project in order to improve communications between the voters and decision-makers. The poll was funded by the United States Agency for International Development.

IRI has been active in Afghanistan since early 2002, working with local democratic leaders and NGOs.