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Luxembourg to Support Drug Control Projects in Lao People's Democratic Republic
|United Nations Projects Aimed at Assisting the Country Implement Its Balanced Strategy against Illicit Opium Cultivation|
| VIENNA, 22 October (UN Information Service) -- The Luxembourg Fund
Fonds de Lutte contre le Traffic des Stupefiants will provide support to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (ODC-formerly ODCCP*) for two drug control projects in Lao People's Democratic Republic. Luxembourg's contribution of 300,000 euros will be used for projects aimed at helping the country implement its national strategy -- A Balanced Approach to Opium Elimination in Lao PDR -- which includes both monitoring and prevention of opium poppy cultivation in critical provinces as well as assistance to farmers in the form of alternative development strategies. The ODC efforts have been focused on greater food security, increased cash incomes from alternative sources, such as livestock, crops and non-agricultural activities, and improved market access and marketing.
The Lao PDR is the world's third largest producer of illicit opium after Afghanistan and Myanmar.
In establishing the fund in 1992, Luxembourg became the first country to implement the article of the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances which invites signatories to contribute proceeds generated by the forfeiture of assets in drug trafficking cases, including money-laundering, to international organisations specialising in the fight against drugs. The Fund is managed by a board consisting of the representatives from the ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Health and Justice.
Since 1996, the Luxembourg fund has supported ten ODC projects with a total of over US $4 million, including subregional law enforcement training in Latin America; alternative development projects in Lao PDR and Viet Nam; support to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) involved in drug control in Central America; vocational training in Bolivia; and demand reduction projects in Iran and South Africa. The basic idea behind the fund's support for ODC projects is to channel forfeited assets back into drug control efforts both inside Luxembourg and worldwide.
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