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Project Code and Sector
Project Background and Justification
Immediate Objective, Outputs and Main Activities
Counterpart, Institutional Setting and Implementing Arrangements
Financial Information

AD/RAS/F14 - Strengthening the Secretariat of the National Authority for Combatting Drugs (NACD) and the National Drug Control Programme of Cambodia

1. Project Code and Sector

No. and Title: AD/RAS/F14 - Strengthening the Secretariat of the National Authority for Combatting Drugs (NACD) and the National Drug Control Programme of Cambodia
Status/Starting Date: January 2001
Project Function: National drug control capacity building
Duration: 4 years
Executing Agency: UNODC
Aggregate Budget & Funding Source: US$ 3,234,200 (Funding being sought)


2. Project Background and Justification

Cambodia's weak institutional and resource capacity for all aspects of drug control combined with an unstable political situation have severely hampered the country's ability to establish and operate a national drug control programme and to fully participate in international and regional collaborative efforts.

It is generally understood that the overall drug control situation in the country has deteriorated significantly over the last few years in particular with regard to trafficking of narcotic drugs and precursor chemicals, commercial production and export of cannabis, money laundering as well as with regard to drug related corruption and crime. Information about the nature and extent of drug misuse is not readily available but it is commonly accepted that so far Cambodia has been less effected by drug abuse than other countries in the region.

The country is, however, in a vulnerable situation and there has been a notable increase in drug abuse particularly Amphetamine-type Stimulants (ATS) among e.g. 'well-to-do' young people, commercial sex workers and street children. Various drugs, and particularly stimulants, are aggressively being marketed and increasingly being used also by for instance students, workers on fishing boats, porters at border posts, soldiers, prisoners and dock workers. There are also persistent reports about an increase of heroin injection in Phnom Penh. Only very limited attention has been given the demand reduction situation and advantage has not been taken of the present "pre-epidemic" window of opportunity for drug abuse prevention activities.

Commercial production of cannabis has increased rapidly over the last few years, to such an extent that Cambodia is today one of the largest producers of cannabis for export to the world market. There are also clear indications that methamphetamine is now being produced in Koh Kong Province and also in other locations along the Thai-Cambodian border as well as in the cities of Sihanoukville, Battambang, Siem Riep and Phnom Penh. Whilst the production in border areas is mainly for export to Thailand, the drugs produced in the centrally located cities are mainly targetting potential user groups in Cambodia itself. Precursor chemicals required for the production process are shipped from China, Singapore and Hong Kong either directly into Cambodia or via Vietnam or entering the country over the Thai border.

Due to ineffective legislative, enforcement and administrative structures, Cambodia is increasingly used for drug trafficking, money laundering and transitting of illegal drug proceeds. With intensified suppression of illicit drug trafficking in the neighbouring countries, Cambodia has become an attractive alternative route for trafficking in the region with heroin being smuggled from the Golden Triangle through Cambodia for delivery to other destinations in Asia and to overseas markets. Trafficking of synthetic drugs to Thailand and transitting of precursor chemicals to various parts of the subregion are increasingly becoming matters of great concern.

The proceeds of production of/and trafficking in illicit drugs has in a small economy like Cambodia's potentially the power to corrupt the society at all levels and instigate crime that could destabilize the country's fundamental structure. External collaborative efforts involving Cambodia have in the past been heavily law enforcement focussed and concentrated on provision of e.g. training and basic equipment. As the integrity of the receiving parties has repeatedly been questioned by donors such general support has over the past years decreased and bilateral cooperation with line law enforcement agencies is today mainly conducted on a case-by-case basis.

In response to the increasing threats posed by the production, trafficking and abuse of drugs, the Government established in 1995 a ministerial level committee, the National Authority for Combatting Drugs (NACD) to make decisions on drug control policy and to supervise drug control operations. The Royal Decree also made provisions for an operational level NACD Secretariat.

Since then the NACD Secretariat has made efforts to take charge of drug control operations in the country and the cooperation with other countries in the region. However, the NACD Secretariat's ability to perform its task has since the outset been severely hampered by lack of personnel, basic technical competence, equipment, office facilities and administrative and operational procedures. In spite of these severe shortcomings, the NACD Secretariat has managed to establish itself nationally and in the eyes of neighbouring countries and the donor community as an agency that, over time and with strong external support, would be able to undertake the planning and operational duties set out in the Royal Decree.

The present institutional and resource situation and the deteriorating abuse, trafficking and production trends seen in an overall environment of relative social and political instability indicate that Cambodia is highly at risk of developing a serious drug problem. The country is today seen as the weakest of the MOU countries - a fact that is increasingly taken advantage of by criminal elements in the country and by international crime syndicates. In order to address these problems in a comprehensive and coordinated manner, it is seen as crucial that the NACD Secretariat is established as the country's recognized, competent and proactive focal agency for all aspects of drug control.

The Government of Cambodia and UNODC have agreed that institutional strengthening of the NACD Secretariat and establishing it in a sustainable way as the central body for drug control planning and operations should be the priority for UNODC's short and medium term cooperation with Cambodia.


3. Immediate Objective, Outputs and Main Activities

The project is based on the understanding that an efficient and sustainable national drug control programme can best be established through the creation of a core group of well trained, dedicated and loyal personnel within a professionally organized and managed organizational entity that will gradually be able to extend its influence on and control of drug control policy and operations.

Due to present institutional weaknesses and socio-economic and political uncertainties, a process approach to planning and implementation of this project is required. The project will therefore be implemented in two phases. During Phase I (2 years), the basic requirements for the functioning of the Secretariat will be put in place. During Phase II (2 years), the institutional capabilities of the Secretariat will be enhanced and sustained and a comprehensive National Drug Control Plan will be developed and under implementation.

It is recognized that the lack of means for transportation and communication makes it impossible to operate efficiently neither on Secretariat nor on nationwide or regional levels. A substantial provision of equipment for the Secretariat and for the network of provincial focal points to be established is therefore required.

The project will be implemented through strict application of the principle support -against-delivery, which entails that continued support will be subject to satisfactory and timely achievement of agreed outputs.

The project will have a strong focus on training in drug control related skills, but also in language, management, administration and computer skills. A full-time international adviser will be posted within the NACD Secretariat, to provide continuous policy, operational and administrative support as well as training for management personnel. International and regional experts will provide training courses and extensive on-the-job training and guidance. These experts will spend one or two months at a time in Cambodia, returning approximately once or twice a year for continued training and for follow-up on progress.

Upon completion of the project (Phase I and II), the major achievements should be as follows:

(i) the Secretariat will be functioning effectively as the Government's main planning and coordinating body for drug control in Cambodia in the fields of law enforcement, demand reduction and supply reduction;
(ii) systems for the collection, analysis and dissemination of drug law enforcement/illicit drug production and drug abuse information will be in place and functioning
(iii) Cambodia will meet most requirements of the International Drug Control Conventions and will fully meet regional cooperation requirements under the Subregional Memorandum of Understanding and the Subregional Action Plan. Networks with drug control agencies in neighbouring countries for policy discussion, programme planning and information sharing will be operational.
( iv) a core group of highly trained and experienced drug law enforcement officers/ managers will be established within the Secretariat and operational level mechanisms for cooperation with existing law enforcement and other agencies will be functioning; ( v) the Secretariat will be established as the focal agency for networking with national and international civil society organisations and NGOs in the field of drug control;
( vi) capacity will have been established in all provinces in order for the Secretariat to have sufficient nation wide coverage;
( vii) modalities for sustainable financing of the Secretariat as well as a fixed Secretariat staffing table and a system for recruitment and career development will be established.
(viii) a National Drug Control Plan will have been developed and be under implementation.


4. Counterpart, Institutional Setting and Implementing Arrangements

UNODC will be the executing agency of the project. The NACD Secretariat will be the implementing agency. The Permanent Deputy Secretary General of the NACD Secretariat is foreseen to serve as National Project Coordinator. A UNODC recruited Drug Control Adviser will serve as the manager of the project and will on day-to-day issues collaborate with the National Project Coordinator and on policy matters report to the Project Advisory Committee (PAC).

UNDP Phnom Penh will be associated agency to the project, subcontracted to handle administration of project staff bookkeeping and other services as deemed feasible. UNOPS will be associated agency to the project subcontracted to perform procurement of non-expendable equipment and major subcontracts as decided and specified by UNODC.

A Project Advisory Committee (PAC) will be established to provide overall guidance for project implementation and to review project progress and release funds in line with project delivery. The Committee will consist of the National Project Coordinator, two representatives of Government agencies, the Drug Control Advisor/Project Manager, the Representative UNODC Regional Centre, Bangkok (Chairman) and a representative of the donor agency(-ies).


5. Financial Information

Project Budget in US$ (app)
Personnel/Consultants 1,132,000
Sub-contract 250,000
Training 542,000
Equipment 772,000
Miscellaneous 166,000
Project Support Cost 372,200
Total $3,234,200