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Unemployment, poverty key challenges for youth: Report

60 percent respondents support NUG; trust over electoral bodies, political parties and judicial organs declined; 98 percent youths believe in supremacy of law

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Democracy International (DI) on Sunday in its annual report revealed that majority of youth sees unemployment and poverty as a major problem in the country.

The survey covered 4,020 young Afghans, aged 18-25 years. Fifty percent of the respondents were males. The survey covered 402 villages in 34 provinces of the country.

Chief Technical Advisor for DI, Zekria Barakzai, said that findings of the survey show that 82 percent of respondents see unemployment and poverty as a key challenge across the country.

After releasing the report here, he said that ignoring voice of the young people regarding participation in political process is the second problem faced by the youth. About 70 percent of youth complained in this aspect.

He said that release of the report is aimed to inform the government about problems faced by youth in the country, adding that the government should take steps to resolve these problems.

Sayed Akhtar, a researcher in DI, said that access to higher education and insecurity were the other challenges consequently.

He said that youths termed weak governance, lack of opportunities and corruption in administration main challenges behind unemployment and poverty across the country.

The report’s findings show that 98 percent of respondents believe that the law must be obeyed by youths, but 57 percent youth believed that living in Afghanistan without corruption and paying bribes is impossible.

The report said that over 60 percent of respondents supported the National Unity Government (NUG), but 47 percent of household youth are unsatisfied with performance of the president and the Chief Executive.

Youth urged the NUG to fulfill commitments in order to help the young generation.

The survey also demonstrated that trust over electoral bodies, political parties and judicial organs declined.

Welcomed the report released by the DI, President’s Advisor on Social Affairs, Adela Bahram Nezami, said that considering the challenges mentioned in the report, the government would try to explore ways to resolve these problems.

Representative of Advisory Board of Chief Executive Office, Parasto Yari, said the Chief executive Office would carve out plans according to the findings of the report in order to cope with the issues throughout the country.

According to a survey report published last month, investment in Afghanistan has dropped by 26 percent in 2015; thus, leaving many people jobless.

The Asia Foundation in its “2015 Survey of the Afghan People” revealed that pessimism over political, security and economy affairs is at high level. The annual Asia Foundation survey covered 9,586 Afghans (50.6 percent male and 49.4 female), representing 14 ethnic groups and all 34 provinces.

The public opinion poll reveals rising concern over political transition, insecurity, and struggling economy this year as compared to last decade surveys. More than half of all Afghans (57.5% respondents) say the country is going in the wrong direction.

The number of Afghans who say they are afraid for their personal safety is at the highest recorded level (67.4%) since the survey began. And despite government efforts to curb corruption, 89.9% of Afghans say corruption is a major problem in their daily lives, the highest percentage reported since 2004.

Youth cite unemployment and illiteracy as biggest challenges; the increasing availability of media and access to information seen as bright spot.

As foreign aid declines, Afghans say unemployment (71.4%) and illiteracy (26.5%) are the two biggest problems facing their youth. The 39.9 percent respondents said that if they give opportunity would leave Afghanistan. Confidence in the Independent Election Commission (IEC) dropped nearly in half over the past year, from 66.4 percent in 2014 to 36.4 percent in 2015.

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