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For Immediate Release
November 19, 2004

Global Message

Counternarcotics Initiatives for Afghanistan

From remarks by Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Robert Charles, 11/17/04

There are five pillars of the fight against narcotics production in Afghanistan: effective public information, tough law enforcement, enhanced alternative livelihoods, aggressive interdiction, and expanded eradication.

Effective Public Information: The United States will support the Afghan government by launching a major public information and awareness campaign that is designed to discourage poppy cultivation and the drug trade.

Tough Law Enforcement: The United States is helping Afghanistan build its justice sector. Afghan citizens will know how people get into the criminal justice system, how they are treated there, and that drug traffickers and corrupt officials will be prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced.

Alternative Livelihoods: Giving farmers opportunities to make earn a decent livelihood by cultivating legitimate crops is also essential. The Afghan government will match its eradication with a proportionate increase in efforts to find viable economic alternatives. Those efforts will include helping farmers with credit and agricultural inputs, and improving agricultural infrastructure such as irrigation and roads.

Aggressive Interdiction: Afghanistan will increase its efforts to destroy narcotics labs. These labs are often large and made up of multiple buildings that are very findable.

Expanded Eradication: The Afghan government has said it will initiate a more integrated and stronger eradication effort to reduce the overall number of poppy fields so farmers will think twice about planting poppies in the future.

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