UNODC welcomes Canada's support for fight against drugs and crime in Afghanistan

VIENNA, 1 March (UNODC) - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime  welcomed Canada's decision to provide 200 million Canadian dollars for reconstruction and development in Afghanistan, a significant portion of which will go to strengthening counter-narcotics law enforcement and the judicial system.

UNODC will receive up to 27 million Canadian dollars for its work in Afghanistan.

"Canada's generous contribution can help eliminate some of the major obstacles that are threatening peace and retarding development in Afghanistan" UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said. "This is a clear demonstration of Canada's commitment to development as well as security in Afghanistan."

In agreement with the Canadian Government, UNODC will work with the Afghan authorities in four key areas: improving law enforcement to bring drug traffickers to justice; reducing the smuggling into Afghanistan of chemicals used to produce heroin; combating corruption; and improving cross-border cooperation to stop drug trafficking.

Mr Costa plans immediate consultations with President Karzai and other senior Afghan officials on concrete projects. "There is no time to lose", said the UN's top drug control official. "The people of Afghanistan and the taxpayers of Canada need to see results."