PRESS RELEASE: U.S. funding to UNODC combats drug trafficking and drug use in Laos

U.S. funding to UNODC combats drug trafficking and drug use in Laos

Vienna, Austria
August 11, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The United States is pleased to announce a $500,000 grant for two UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) projects to assist the government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos) in its efforts to improve the treatment of drug use disorders and promote alternative development strategies. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) recently funded two additional UNODC projects, each for $250,000, to support “Expanding Access to Community Based Treatment and Care for Drug Use and Dependence” and “Alternative Development in the Houaphanh Province.”

These new funds will complement ongoing UNODC efforts to assist Laos in meeting global standards for the treatment and prevention of substance use disorders and help farmers create sustainable alternatives to cultivating crops that are used to produce illicit substances.

With the assistance of the United States and other international partners, UNODC efforts to reduce drug demand and establish alternative development programs in Laos have already generated tangible results. The “Expanding Access to Community Based Treatment and Care for Drug Use and Dependence” project has to-date established 28 community-based drug treatment and rehabilitation centers. This additional U.S. funding will provide support and training for personnel at these centers and integrate a broader range of services for those seeking care. Similarly, the “Alternative Development in Houaphanh Province” project has already contributed to the establishment of nearly 400 hectares of coffee cultivation, replacing former opium poppy plantations. U.S. funds will be used to construct an office and coffee shop that will help farmers market and commercialize their products.

INL contributed to this project through appropriations made by Congress to the U.S. Department of State that support efforts in the fight against illicit drug production and dependence in Laos and around the world.

More information on UNODC’s work combatting drug use is available on the UNODC website at https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/drug-prevention-and-treatment/index.html.

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Please direct any inquiries to UNVIEpress@state.gov.

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