The US Embassy to Laos granted US$515,000 in aid to the Lao government, in order to assist recovering opium addicts and law enforcement agencies in fiscal year 2006-2007. The letters of agreement on the various aid grants were signed by the Chairman of the Lao National Commission to Drug Control and Supervision, Mr. Soubanh Srithirath, and the US Ambassador, Ms Patricia M. Haslach, in Vientiane.
The grant aid for fiscal year 2006-2007 will be divided into three main projects: US$440,000 will be invested in alternative development projects designed to alleviate the poverty of people living in former opium poppy growing areas; US$25,000 will be used in demand reduction activities; and US$50,000 will supplement law enforcement.
The alternative development project will mainly continue the implementation of the Lao-American Cooperation Project in Bountay and Samphan districts of Phongsaly province, in Luang Prabang province's Ngoy and Viengkham districts some of the funds will be used to support the treatment and rehabilitation of former opium addicts as well as to raise public awareness and control the replanting of opium poppies in 10 provinces.
Listen to our Laos Today report for details.