View by sections

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

AD/RAS/00/F15 - Taking Action Against Amphetamine-Type Stimulant (ATS) Abuse in the East Asia and Pacific Region

1. Project Code and Sector

No. and Title: AD/RAS/00/F15 - Taking Action Against Amphetamine-Type Stimulant (ATS) Abuse in the East Asia and Pacific Region
Status/Starting Date: Pipeline
Project Function: Subregional: Drug Demand Reduction
Duration: 5 years
Executing Agency: UNODC
Aggregate Budget & Funding Source: US$5,996,700


2. Project Background and Justification

Within the East Asia and Pacific region, many countries are faced with increasing problems of illicit drug production, trafficking and abuse. Plant based substances such as heroin and opium continue to be abused, especially in countries that are closest to the production and trafficking areas, while startling new regional trends have emerged in the supply and demand for amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS), mainly amphetamine and methamphetamine.

Countries such as Thailand and the Philippines have had a problem with ATS, particularly methamphetamine for a number of years, especially among occupational groups such as transport workers, seafarers, construction labourers and those from the entertainment industry who felt the need for artificial stimulation to maintain work stamina. But more recently, the problem has expanded within those countries among young populations. The trend toward expanded use is reflected in the seizures of ATS and their precursor chemicals, by law enforcement evidence pointing to expanding distribution through smaller scale domestic dealers, and to some extent by the increase of treatment admissions. Emerging use is now also evident in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Existing efforts to reduce the supply for ATS have had limited success for numerous reasons. The economic incentives for production and distribution have also been fuelled by the recent economic crisis in some East Asian countries. Significant law enforcement efforts have been undertaken in Thailand and Philippines where trafficking and abuse of ATS and precursors has been most prominent in the region. Yet these countries are not optimistic about reversing the supply trend, particularly in view of the transnational issues involved; illicit imports of precursors and/or finished ATS products from neighbouring countries.

Moreover, within the region, there is a continuing lack of reliable information on patterns of use and responses or the implications of ATS use, including health, psychological, social, and economic consequences. This inhibits the development of well targeted programmes. Evaluation and monitoring of programme progress and outcomes is superficial, often lacking in methodology, under resourced and unsustained. Also there is insufficient evidence to know whether or not existing policies and programmes are effectively addressing the groups at risk, the risks, and the desired outcomes.

While current ATS abuse in the region is usually done by ingesting, smoking or inhaling, the risk of injecting is high where there is the preferred form for other drug abuse. This risk has enormous implications for spreading HIV/AIDS and deteriorating public health in the region, with possibility of creating further human tragedy and drain on the health resources of countries already stretched in their capacity to deal with opioid drug use.

Affected governments are strongly committed to the international conventions and the resolutions of the 20 th Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly calling for action on ATS, but are confronted by a significant gap between intention and capacity to respond.There is agreement among MOU countries and the Philippines that extraordinary effort will be needed to slow, reverse and abate the national and regional ATS trends, and that technical and financial assistance is needed to establish or improve measures for a more effective response to the demand for amphetamine-type stimulants.

To address the worsening overall trend in amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) abuse in the East Asia and Pacific region, particularly in the Philippines and Thailand, but also including Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, a project idea was prepared which was endorsed at the MOU Ministerial Meeting, held in May 1999 in Vientiane. This project will run parallel to other regional plans to reduce the supply of ATS and uncontrolled precursor chemicals.


3. Immediate Objective, Outputs and Main Activities

The project will strengthen capacity and preparedness of government and non-government agencies for the identification and resolution of emerging ATS related problems.

The project will be introduced with the organisation of quality circles of technical experts that will simultaneously operate and interact at regional, national and community levels. Technical groups will be established around a core project team at the regional level and initially at the national level in the Philippines and Thailand where the ATS issues are most obvious and needing immediate attention. The quality circles will first set up new systems or refine and add to existing systems for the surveillance and monitoring of ATS use and risks. Then, starting from a community perspective, target group knowledge, attitudes and behaviours will be measured, with specific attention on youth and occupational groups, and used for the preparation and eventual delivery of multimedia prevention messages by the end of the first project year.

The prevention activities will have both awareness raising, community action and evaluation components. Experts from other countries in the region will have access to information about the prevention programme development and delivery process. Parallel activities will also be initiated for the regional review of better practice models for prevention and treatment.

In the second stage of project development, the progress and outcomes of the prevention efforts will be evaluated and shared for use in other countries of the region, and selected treatment interventions will be introduced, including the training of professionals as necessary. The treatment initiatives will also be supported by quality circles of expertise that simultaneously interrelate with the project core and community interests. Additionally, a regional clearinghouse will be physically and electronically established as a permanent repository for the input and regional exchange of relevant information concerning ATS problems and programmes. Project experiences will be widely shared with a view toward the national development or consolidation of ATS demand reduction policy within the respective national drug control policy frameworks.


4. Counterpart, Institutional Setting and Implementing Arrangements

The Senior Officials Committee made up of representatives from the six MOU countries and UNODC will be established to provide strategic guidance in the development of regional drug control programmes.When necessary, the Government of the Philippines delegation will be invited as a participant observer to the portions of the Senior Officials Committee agency concerned with this project.

The Project Advisory Committee (PAC) will be formed which will comprise a project management team leader, one representative of each national counterpart drug control agency, one representative from each of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the World Health Organization (WHO). As required, the representative or delegated official of each of the UNODC country offices in Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam may be called upon to attend a committee meeting. The PAC will be chaired by UNODC through the representative of the Regional Centre, Bangkok or a designated official at that office

UNODC will, under the overall guidance of the PAC, execute the project through the Regional Centre, Bangkok and its Representative or designated official.

The International Labour Organization Regional Office, Bangkok, through a collaborative arrangement with its respective offices for rehabilitation in Geneva and country offices in the Philippines, will have the status of an associated agency with direct responsibility for managing the quality circle of expertise relating to prevention of ATS use in the workplace. These initiatives will only directly cover the countries of the Philippines and Thailand.

The World Health Organization, through its Substance Abuse Department, and as required in collaboration with its respective regional offices for South Asia and the Western Pacific will have the status of an associate agency. It will have direct responsibility for leading the quality circle of expertise for primary prevention developments, in conjunction with UNODC.

The United Nations Office for Project Services will have the status of an associated agency. On behalf of UNODC and through timely and effective coordination with the Project Management Team, UNOPS through its Project Management Office will establish interagency agreements with WHO and ILO for their respective contributions of international expertise. UNOPS will also facilitate intercountry project delivery by administering the resources concerning local consultants, the subcontracts component, and the resources for non expendable equipment, as specified by UNODC.

Through the UNODC counterpart national drug control agencies, each participating country will identify a suitable national agency that will be responsible for overseeing the project within its national boundaries and contributing to regional project developments.


5. Financial Information

Project Budget in US$ (app)
Personnel 2,233,160
Sub-contract 2,355,000
Training 320,000
Miscellaneous 271,000
Project Support Cost 689.867
Total $5,996,700