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Half of all Afghans paid bribes to public officials in 2012: UN report

Published on Feb 7, 2013 3:48 PM

KABUL (AFP) - The cost of corruption in Afghanistan has risen sharply and half of all citizens paid a bribe to public officials last year, a new United Nations study said on Thursday.

More than 11 years after a US-led invasion led to billions of dollars in aid flowing into one of the world's poorest countries, Afghanistan ranks among the most corrupt nations on earth.

And Western nations due to pull their troops out next year have linked future financial support to the aid-dependent nation to a crackdown on graft.

The report by the UN office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Afghanistan's anti-corruption unit says that while there has been "some tangible progress", the total cost of corruption increased to US$3.9 billion (S$4.8 billioon) in 2012 - 40 per cent up on 2009.

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