The US government will provides US$1m for alternative development in Laos
Introduction: The US government will provide US$1 million over two years to assist opium-growing farmers find alternative livelihoods in two districts of Huaphan province.
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Story: An agreement to provide the funding was signed between the Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision (LCDC) and the US Embassy in Vientiane on Thursday.
The assistance will help some 2,000 families in 20 villages of Xamneua and Xone districts of Huaphan province move into better cropping and livestock to replace opium poppy cultivation and this grant assistance has contributed to the cessation of opium poppy cultivation for over ten thousand former opium famers in the country.
According to US Ambassador Daniel A. Clune, “We intend to provide an additional US$500,000 for a third year, to make a total of US$1.5 million, subject to the availability of funds and approval by both governments.
This support will also contribute to the government’s poverty eradication efforts since the areas of opium poppy cultivation are often found in the poorest and most remote regions of the country. He also hopes to travel to Huaphan province next month to visit the districts where they will be helping farmers find more profitable alternatives to opium poppy cultivation.
According to Chairman of LCDC, Kou Chansina, apart from helping to control and prevent the spread of drug problems the support has contributed to rural development work and poverty alleviation for people in the northern provinces.
Source: Lao National Television News in English
Broadcast on September 26, 2014