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Laos: Germany supports food security and alternative livelihoods for former opium poppy farmers through UNODC

The German Government has generously funded US$1,561,500 through UNODC to continue the implementation of the Project "Increasing Food Security and Promoting Licit Crop Production and Small Farmer Enterprise Development in Oudomxay province, Lao PDR."

The objective of the project is to continue to implement the remaining activities, in the old project target villages and to expand activities to 17 new project target villages, in the 3 districts of Xay, Houn and La. The project will provide sustainable alternative livelihood development to former opium farming communities including the provision drug abuse treatment.  Certain pilot farmers from the first phase of the project have been able to increase their income more than tenfold through innovative agricultural production techniques with support from the Royal Project Foundation and the Highland Research Development Institute of Thailand in partnership with the provincial agricultural office and UNODC.

The Signing Ceremony of the Project on" Increasing Food Security and Promoting Licit Crop Production and Small Former Enterprise Development in the Lao PDR (XSPK 26)" between the Lao Government and UNODC took place on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at the Prime Minister's Office at 10:00 AM.

Witnessing the Signing Ceremony was Mr. Wolfgang Thoran, Charge de Affaire of the German Embassy to the Lao PDR, the Provincial Vice Governor and Chairman of Provincial Committee for Drug Control for Oudomxay Province H.E. Mr Khampeng Chittavong, as well as Representatives from concerned Ministries, Departments and International Organizations.

The successful implementation of this project will contribute to reducing the poverty of over 8,821 people of 1,434 households in the 3 above mentioned districts as well as support the implementation of the National Drug Control Master Plan and the 7 th National Socio-economic Development Plan.

The Project Document was signed by H.E. Mr. Soubanh Srithirath, Chairman of the Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision, representing the Lao Government and Mr. Leik Boonwaat, Representative to the Lao PDR and Deputy Regional Representative for UNODC.