Oxfam have today released a new report on the Cost of War to the people of Afghanistan. To better understand how Afghans have experienced and understand the conflict, eight non-governmental organisations operating in Afghanistan conducted research in 14 provinces in the country.
Their research focused on individual experiences of the past thirty years of conflict, perceptions of the current conflict and recommendations for alleviating the violence and addressing its root causes. This research, while not claiming to be based on a representative sample of all Afghans, aimed to more fully articulate Afghan experiences of the conflict and their aspirations for peace and the future of their country.
A sample of 704 people was asked about their experience of conflict over the last 3o years and the causes of the current conflict. The two leading causes they identified for the current conflict were firstly unemployment and poverty, and secondly, the corruption and ineffectiveness of the Afghan government. Torture had been experience by about 20% and 43% reported having had property destroyed.
Respondents called on the Afghan government to establish the rule of law and stop corruption; on pro and anti government forces to stop harm to civilians and provide compensation; and on the international community to provide effective humanitarian aid, hold the Afghan government accountable, stop interference in Afghan affairs and to establish a regional peace process.