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Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago

[22.01.24] Kyrgyzstan: EU to Boost Drug Control, Poverty Alleviation Efforts

The European Union (EU) is set to enhance drug control and poverty alleviation operations in the mountainous state of Kyrgyzstan...
"We hope to begin both efforts in spring 2004," Philippe Bernhard, project manager for the European Commission's poverty alleviation effort told IRIN from the Kazakh commercial capital, Almaty on Thursday, noting all projects would have a regional focus.
As part of the effort, a project coordinator for the EU's Central Asia Drug Action Program (CADAP) would be sent to the country, while a coordinator for the commission's Border Management for Central Asia program (BOMCA), would be recruited and posted in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.
"Basically, drug trafficking to Europe and Russia and drug abuse in the countries of the region are both growing problems. As we know, since the end of the Taliban regime, the figures of drug production in Afghanistan have significantly increased," Bernhard explained.
Indeed, according to recent United Nations estimates, this year's opium harvest in the fledgling Central Asian state is expected to yield 4,000 mt of opium, of which 400 mt of heroin will be produced. As the world's largest producer of opium, Afghanistan accounts for 77 percent of all global output, much of the heroin bound for EU countries.
As part of the EU's multimillion dollar poverty alleviation efforts in the region's Fergana valley, emphasis will be placed on local capacity building, employment development, small grant scheme management and strengthening health care, as well as increasing agricultural income and improving farmers' livelihoods.
IRIN, January 22, 2004

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