On Friday, July 10th, United States Ambassador Daniel A. Clune joined Mr. Kou Chansina, Chairman of Lao National Commission for Drug Control (LCDC) and Mr. Jeremy Douglas, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Representative, at a signing ceremony for a new Memorandum of Understanding between the LCDC and UNODC.
This agreement will provide Houaphanh province with $1,500,000 in U.S. support over two years to assist opium-growing farmers find alternative livelihoods. The U.S.-funded project will be implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in two districts of Houaphanh province. This support will also contribute to the government’s poverty eradication efforts since the areas of opium poppy cultivation are generally the poorest and most remote in the Lao PDR.
The United States Government has provided over $47 million in counter-narcotics assistance to the Lao PDR since 1989. U.S. assistance has included training and equipment for law enforcement, treatment of drug users, and activities to warn the public against illicit narcotics. The United States also provides law enforcement assistance to the Ministry of Justice, the Office of Supreme People’s Prosecutor, the People’s Supreme Court, the Government Inspection and Anti-corruption Authority, and the Lao Customs Department.