ECOWAS Support Project



Support to ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on illicit drug trafficking, organized crime related to it and drug abuse in West Africa (XAW28, FED/2014/337-573) - (Fully funded by the European Union)


The objective of the project 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). The purpose of this project is to strengthen the capacity of ECOWAS and its Member States and Mauritania to tackle drug trafficking, drug abuse and transnational organized crime. It aims to reinforce national and regional levels response to drug trafficking, related organized crime and drug abuse in the region. 

The UNODC's project in support of the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan came to an end in October 2019, however, the UNODC continues assisting the ECOWAS member states, as well as Mauritania, in their efforts to combat drug trafficking, drug abuse and transnational organized crime.

In occasion of the end of the ECOWAS Support Project, the UNODC and the ECOWAS members states published, with the financial support of the European Union, the West African Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (WENDU) Report (2014-2017).The WENDU Report, with a focus on drug interdiction, substance use disorders and treatment, presents the stark realities of the vulnerability of West Africa and Mauritania to illicit drug use, production and trafficking, and its spillover effects as an issue of great public health and safety concerns as well as a threat to good governance, development, peace and security in the region and above.

WENDU Report (2014-2017)


  Forensic Programme

The Drug Demand Reduction programme aims to support the production of reliable and comparable epidemiological data on drugs in West Africa. To this end high-level conferences have already been organised in Dakar and Abidjan.  More info


The programme aims to strengthen forensic capabilities in ECOWAS countries. Two experts in forensics are responsible for the implementation of the program. Fields missions and contacts have been made in this direction for the implementation of the support programme in forensics. More info


The Training Programme   Video and Photos

The objective of the Training programme is to strengthen the operational capacities of anti-drug units. UNODC provides technical assistance to Law Enforcement bodies (Judiciary, Police, Gendarmerie...) to strengthen national responses in this area. So far, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Niger, Guinea-Bissau, Benin, Sierra Leone, benefited from the training programme.  More info


Regional Workshop on Epidemiology

Training of Law enforcement bodies

Meeting of the Steering Committee

Scientific Conference on Drug Disorders


Knowledge Production   News and Events

Reports were produced to assess drug demand reduction situation in some ECOWAS countries. These  experts reports demonstrate the capacity to produce knowledge and reliable data to assess correctly the situation in each country. The assessment report on Mali is already validated and finalized. Six other assessment reports already produced are currently awaiting validation.  More info


Several areas of intervention activities are carried out under the project at the regional level by its various components: Training programme, e-Learning, forensics, drug demand reduction... A newsletter provides information on project activities at local and regional level.  

E-Learning   Partnerships

The e-Learning Programme is currently being deployed. Field missions have been made and target countries identified. More info


  NEWSLETTER ISSUES #1#2 ,   #3  & #4


  The project support to the ECOWAS Action Plan is fully funded by the European Union. It is implemented by UNODC, in close cooperation with ECOWAS, through activities in the areas of prevention of drug abuse and drug dependence treatment, the development of the legislative framework, forensics and Law Enforcement in ECOWAS Member States. More info