ECOWAS Support Project

Support to ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on illicit drug trafficking, organized crime related to it and drug abuse in West Africa (XAWZ28, FED/2014/337-573)” (fully funded by the European Union).

 

Drug trafficking organisations have been increasingly using West Africa as a transit area for smuggling large amounts of cocaine from South America into Europe. Drug trafficking is often linked to political instability in West Africa, and in particular in the Sahel. Drug trafficking also generates corruption which undermines the economies of the region. In parallel, there are indications of an increase in substance abuse in West Africa. This exerts further pressure on already fragile national health, economic and security systems. 

 This Project is funded by European Union

Faced by this increasing drug abuse, national authorities often lack reliable epidemiological data and effective prevention and treatment programmes. There is a lack of reliable and comparable data on drugs in West Africa. The regional capacity to identify and disseminate best practices on drug demand reduction at the regional level, including within the civil society needs to be strengthened. In addition, stronger regional cooperation and coordination against transnational organised crime of judicial and enforcement authorities is needed.

The objective of the project “Support to ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on illicit drug trafficking, organized crime related to it and drug abuse in West Africa” (XAWZ28, FED/2014/337-573)”(fully funded by the European Union) is to contribute to the reduction of drug abuse, illicit drug trafficking and related organized crime in West Africa through the implementation of the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan to address the growing problem of illicit drug trafficking, organized crime and drug abuse in West Africa (2008-2014, renewed until the end of 2015, as well as the new Action Plan 2016-2020, under preparation).

To achieve this objective, UNODC, in close cooperation with ECOWAS, is planning to conduct activities in the areas of drug abuse prevention and drug dependence treatment, legislative development, forensics, and drug law enforcement in a number of ECOWAS Member States.

The project staff is located in both Abuja, Nigeria, as well as Dakar, Senegal to ensure close liaison with the ECOWAS Commission and the EU Delegation, and outreach to the Member States and regional/international partners. The overall responsibility for the implementation and the oversight of the present project lies within UNODC Regional Office for West and Central Africa (ROSEN), based in Dakar, Senegal. Under the overall guidance of the Regional Representative, a Programme Coordinator (P-4), based in Abuja, is in charge of the operational execution of the project. The project team is composed of international and local experts in the substantive fields of drug demand reduction, epidemiology, law enforcement and forensics.

The purpose of this project is to strengthen the capacity of ECOWAS and its Member States to take sustainable actions against drug trafficking, drug abuse and transnational organized crime. It aims to reinforce simultaneously at regional and national levels the response to drug trafficking, related organized crime and drug abuse in the region. In line with the ECOWAS Action Plan, UNODC and its partners through the project plan will build on the existing work of the ECOWAS Commission to (i) enhance the availability of reliable and comparable data on drugs in West Africa for the development of evidence-based drug policies and programmes, (ii) strengthen regional capacity to identify and disseminate best practices on drug demand reduction, including the civil society and (iii) enhance the capacity of judicial and enforcement authorities and strengthen sub-regional and regional cooperation and coordination.

The project « Support to ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on illicit drug trafficking, organized crime related to it and drug abuse in West Africa » is fully funded by the European Union.

 

Additional Information

Link to ECOWAS Homepage, Political Declaration

Link to Description of Action on EU page: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/documents/aap/2013/af_aap-spe_2013_west-africa_p4.pdf