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Afghanistan: Politics and Government

Volume 506: debated on Thursday 4 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the extent of corruption in the Afghan Government; and what steps his Department is taking to seek to reduce levels of such corruption. (318929)

Corruption is endemic throughout society and state. Pervasive corruption within the Government and the security forces undermines the legitimacy of the Government and corrodes consent. Nearly one-fifth of the Afghan population believe corruption is the country's biggest problem and Afghanistan ranks second to last on Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index. President Karzai made a commitment to tackling corruption in his inauguration speech and again at the London Conference. We expect him to demonstrate this commitment by creating independent institutions that can prevent, detect and take action against corrupt practices in government.

The UK is a key partner for the Government of Afghanistan on tackling corruption across a range of areas, including on accountability bodies, support to law enforcement and public financial management. We are one of the biggest donors to the Afghan Government's anti-corruption oversight body, High Office of Oversight. We will continue to offer experts from across the Government to support the Afghan Government to tackle corruption.