SIGAR: Drugs Production in Afghanistan Increases By 43%

| 2 May 2017, 23:38

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) states that drugs production is on rise in the face of $8.5 billion spent in the country to counter opium.
In its quarterly report to US Congress, SIGAR reveals that there has been 43% increase in drugs production and efforts to eradicate poppy reduced over the time.
Deteriorating security, lack of political will and ineffective management of Ministry of Counter Narcotics of Afghanistan have been outlined as major factors that fuel poppy cultivation and opium production in the country.
Helmand, Zabul, Daykundi and Urozgan provinces produce 59% of all drugs in Afghanistan, the report states.
This come as Deputy Minister of Counter Narcotics General Baz Mohammad Ahmadi recently reported 65% increase in counter narcotics operations in 1359 and poppy eradication campaign is currently undergoing in several provinces.
Financing the Taliban
SIGAR has recommended that President Donald Trump should establish a renewed counter-narcotics strategy to reduce the illicit commerce that provides the Taliban with the bulk of their revenue which covers 60% of their expenses.
“Traffickers provide weapons, funding, and material support to the insurgency in exchange for protection, while insurgent leaders traffic drugs to finance their operations,” the report said.
Afghan officials confirm that drugs finance a large part of Taliban’s fights against government and that is why poppy is cultivated in insecure areas where Taliban hold control.

Reporter: Aminullah

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