UNODC, UNIDO sign pact to promote development in rural communities dependent on drug crops

UNODC Boss Yury Fedotov

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have joined forces to promote grass-roots development in poor rural communities dependent on the cultivation of illicit drug crops.

Both have therefore signed an agreement to that effect. The agreement was signed by UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, and UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella in Vienna, Austria March 19, 2012.

“A central focus of the agreement is the strengthening of alternative development projects in poor rural communities dependent on the cultivation of drug crops,” the UNODC said in a statement.

In promoting alternative development, UNIDO will focus on private sector development with emphasis on micro, small and medium enterprises, agro-business development and environmental management.

UNODC will focus on limiting the dependence of small and marginalized farming communities on illicit drug crop cultivation through the creation of legitimate livelihoods.

“The memorandum of understanding will help establish a strategic partnership in the spirit of One UN that supports sustainable development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in countries such as Afghanistan,” said Mr. Fedotov.

While Yumkella added “I am confident that the first and ultimate beneficiaries of our joint work will be those living at the grass-root level, the poor rural communities that often find themselves dependent on the cultivation of drug crops. We need to ensure that they are provided the tools to support their livelihoods, through capacity building activities and job opportunities. Afghanistan could be a pilot country to develop a joint UNODC-UNIDO pilot project.”

By Ekow Quandzie

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