U.S. funding to UNODC helps combat money laundering, terrorism financing, and drug use in Laos
U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna
April 25, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) is pleased to announce a voluntary contribution of 4.3 million USD to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to support training and capacity building of law enforcement and customs officials, conduct research, and enhance interagency coordination in Laos.
The contribution includes about 3.7 million USD for two “Anti-Money Laundering and the Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT)” projects to combat money laundering through improved interagency capacity. The projects aim to enhance Laos’ compliance with international standards and its effectiveness in implementing those standards. Funds provided by the United States will support the Government of Laos in its implementation of a risk-based approach to combatting money laundering and the illegal financing of terrorist operations. The projects include activities designed to promote the effective collection, analysis, and dissemination of financial intelligence; increase capacity to investigate and prosecute money laundering cases; and facilitate the recovery of associated assets. The funds will also help Laos authorities, such as investigators, prosecutors, and regulatory officials build the skills to effectively counter money laundering and increase asset recovery.
The second allocation includes about 400,000 USD for the “Opium Survey project” to conduct an opium poppy cultivation survey. The data collected will be used to analyze the range and scale of opium production in Laos and create appropriate counter measures. This project aims to reduce the production and trafficking of illicit opioids and to improve the capacity of Laos to maintain rule of law and security.
The third allocation includes about 200,000 USD for the “Understanding the Factors Leading to Drug Use and Dependance” project to support Laos in addressing drug use and dependance and reducing discrimination against those
who use drugs. This project will research the causes of drug use, educate local authorities on factors associated with drug use and strive to reduce discrimination against people who use drugs through community-level communication.
The United States values its relationship with Laos and enjoys a close partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), providing support to its work combatting drugs, crime, and corruption. We are confident these funds will help Laos reach its goals of compliance with international AML/CFT standards, enforcing its revised customs law, and better understanding drug use and cultivation within its borders.
More information on UNODC’s Global Programme against Money Laundering is available on the UNODC website at https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/money-laundering/global-programme-against-money-laundering/.html