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Iraqis 'pessimistic' about future
Iraqis are feeling increasingly pessimistic and insecure about their future, four years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, according to a poll.
Only 26 per cent of 2,000 people questioned across all 18 Iraqi provinces said they felt safe in their own neighbourhoods, the survey by pollsters D3 Systems indicates.
Forty per cent said they thought the general situation in the country will improve.
The poll, commissioned by the BBC and US broadcaster ABC News, said 39 per cent of Iraqis questioned believed their lives were going well, while 35 per cent said their lives will improve over the next year.
About 78 per cent of Iraqis opposed the presence of coalition forces, and 69 per cent said their presence worsened the security situation.
Fuel and water shortages
Basic necessities were found to be lacking, with 88 per cent of respondents saying the availability of electricity was either "quite bad" or "very bad".
About 69 per cent gave similar responses for the availability of clean water, and 88 per cent said so for the availability of driving or cooking fuel.
D3 Systems questioned more than 2,000 people across all 18 Iraqi provinces between February 25 and March 5 for the survey, which was published on Monday.
A survey conducted for the BBC in November 2005 had painted a much brighter picture, with 71 per cent saying their lives were going well, 64 per cent saying their lives would be better in 12 months, and 69 per cent saying the situation in the country would be improved in a year.
The increased pessimism was reflected in a 14 per cent drop in support for democracy, with eight percentage point rises in support for both a strong leader and for an Islamic state.
Lack of confidence
According to another survey of 5,019 Iraqi adults published by ORB, a research company, 26 per cent of families have had a family member or relative murdered in the last three years, rising to 34 per cent among Shias.
Fifteen per cent of Iraqi families have had a family member leave the country due to the security situation, while the figure was 35 per cent among families in Baghdad.
Both local authorities and coalition forces were blamed for security failures - 53 per cent were dissatisfied with the performance of the Iraqi government and 82 per cent said they lacked confidence in foreign troops.
Fifty-three per cent of the population felt the security situation in Iraq would improve with troops leaving Iraq, according to ORB