Press Releases

    13 August 2004

    United Nations Drugs Office Publication on Afghanistan's Opium Economy Wins Award

    VIENNA, 13 August (UN Information Service) -- “The Opium Economy in Afghanistan: An International Problem”, a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) publication, has won the “Notable Government Documents 2003” award, presented by the Library Journal, a publication of the American Library Association.

    The study, which was released in early 2003, looked into Afghanistan’s opium economy in order to understand its dynamics, the reasons for its success, its beneficiaries and victims, and the problems it had caused both at home and abroad.

    The comprehensively researched publication examined the cultivation, production, finance, trade and consumption of opium. The report also pointed to the essential elements of a sustainable counter-narcotic policy, such as: "to help poor farmers decide in favour of licit crops; to replace narco-usury with a proper credit system and micro-lending; to provide jobs to women and to itinerant workers; to provide education to children, particularly girls; to turn opium bazaars into modern commodity markets; and to neutralize traffickers’ and warlords’ efforts to keep the evil trade alive," said Antonio Maria Costa, the Executive Director of UNODC.

    UNODC has been conducting annual opium surveys in Afghanistan since 1994, providing the international community with valuable information on trends in the world’s number one producer of iilicit opium and suggesting ways and means to deal with the problem.

    The publication (in pdf format) can be downloaded from

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