Danish and Finnish Ambassadors visit UNODC projects in Herat

Photo: Fardin Waezi (UNAMA) 16 December 2010 -  Under the alternative livelihoods project (AFG/I87- Strengthening Provincial Capacity for Drug Control) UNODC Afghanistan organized the visit of Danish Ambassador Anders Carsten Damsgaard and Finnish Ambassador Dr. Pauli Jarvenpaa to the field projects in Herat province.

During a day visit, ambassadors exchanged their views with Kohsan district leaders and elders, saw land stabilization project and irrigation canal in Kohsan district, visited Islam Qala border crossing and Afghan Border Police garrison in Herat city. Ambassadors were also received by the District Governor Dr. Mohammad Daud Sabah.

Herat is one of the priority provinces for UNODC. Although, opium prices fell during the years 2007 to 2009, they t have increased dramatically in 2010 largely due to poppy blight. There is a risk of a rebound in opium production in areas in the west where considerable reductions were achieved.

Photo: Fardin Waezi (UNAMA): Mr. Fedotov visits clients at the Jangalak drug treatment centre in AfghanistanUnder the new methodology, UNODC has developed and led UN joint assessment missions in Herat, Ghor and just recently Farah Provinces. The innovative approach aims to improve coordination and collaboration among international assistance agencies to support AL efforts in those provinces.

Bringing a number of UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and local stakeholders together, UNODC successfully addressed a number of community needs in Herat province.

For example, UNODC, UNAMA and the Ministry of Counter Narcotics implemented a small initiative that provided monitoring and evaluation training to 44 district officials in Kohsan and Ghorian Districts.

Together with WHO, UNODC trained community health workers (87 female and 84 male) on health related issues such as basic hygiene, promoting children's vaccination, basic education on nutrition and promoting the use of midwifery services.

Photo: Fardin Waezi (UNAMA): Mr. Fedotov visits clients at the Jangalak drug treatment centre in AfghanistanUNODC and WFP conducted a Food for Work project to rehabilitate canals in Kohsan District. The project cleared 28 km of canals in partnership with eight villages. With IOM UNODC completed comprehensive baseline studies in seven villages of Kohsan District.

UNODC and DACAAR with funding from the Danish Government are implementing a land stabilization and rehabilitation project in Kohsan. UNODC, MCN, a local NGO, RWDOA (Rehabilitation and Welfare Development Organization for Afghanistan) and the Italian PRT are jointly supporting a saffron development project in eight districts in Herat. UNODC's support is funded by the Finnish Government.

Finland and Denmark are main donors for alternative livelihoods projects in western provinces.