ISLAMABAD: The US government on Friday donated seven new vehicles to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to help combat poppy growth in the province since Pakistan has reduced poppy cultivation by 87 per cent over the past three decades.
The vehicles delivered on Friday will be used to implement crop control and related development projects in the tribal districts of Bajaur, Mohmand and Khyber.
The donation is part of an overall $5.1 million grant to the provincial government to combat poppy cultivation in the merged areas.
The assistance underscores the American government’s long history of partnership with Pakistan in its mission to combat poppy growth. Over the past 37 years, the United States has invested $60 million in Pakistani efforts to support rural communities in developing economic alternatives to narcotics production; expand legal employment opportunities, especially for women; provide training in sustainable farming techniques; construct roads that extend the writ of the government and provide farm-to-market access; and construct small water supply projects that increase the viability of growing alternative crops.
Speaking at the ceremony where the vehicles were handed over, deputy chief of the mission John Hoover said: “We are proud to continue our longstanding partnership with the KP government and former Fata secretariat, which has resulted in a significant decrease in poppy cultivation, ultimately benefitting the people of KP and the rest of Pakistan.”
The US State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) — which provided the crop control assistance — works in more than 90 countries to help combat crime and corruption, counter narcotics trade, improve police institutions, and promote court systems that are fair and accountable.
Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2019