|Illicit Drugs and the Development Assistance Programme - Strategy paper (DFID, 1999, 18 p.)|
· DFID's overarching commitment to poverty reduction will make a valuable contribution to the government's effort to combat drugs. Poverty is one of the root causes of the drugs problem in many developing countries. Tackling poverty is key to delivering sustainable, long-term solutions to drugs production and consumption.
· Effective assistance can be provided in support of the control of illicit drugs where this is an integral part of countries' anti-poverty strategies, and where there are sustainable policies and commitments on development. Any assistance will take specific account of the needs of poor people. Partner governments will need to demonstrate a commitment to meet these needs.
· Drugs control activities will be pursued as part of development strategies in countries/regions which are important for drugs production and trade. These are at present: Bolivia and Peru; Pakistan; Eastern and Southern Africa, especially South Africa; the Caribbean region, including Overseas Territories; and Colombia (though DFID has only a small development assistance programme there). The case for providing assistance to Afghanistan will be kept under review; it will depend on the commitment of the Taliban (as well as appraisal of the developmental value of specific proposals).
· DFID's assistance for drugs control is likely to focus on support for alternative development projects; demand reduction programmes; institutional reform and development projects which are likely to have an impact on drugs control e.g. anti-drugs planning and co-ordination, customs and excise reform and community policing. Spending will be determined in the country and regional context, bearing in mind that effective anti-drugs activities often need to take a regional approach.
· In addition, greater attention will be given to drugs-related aspects of current and future DFID programmes, e.g. projects concerning rural livelihoods, environment, infrastructure, urban poverty, health and education. Country strategy papers should, where appropriate, make specific reference to the scope for drugs control activities in the context of poverty reduction, and should, as appropriate, relate any recommendations to regional activities.
· DFID will give increased effort to encouraging multilateral institutions to address drugs issues, in support of developing countries' poverty reduction strategies. Multilateral institutions may also be well placed to help address the regional dimension of the drugs issue. DFID will continue to press for a poverty-focused approach in the United Nations International Drugs Control Programme (UNDCP) as a precondition of working in partnership with them on drugs control projects, and providing financial support. Support for UNDCP will be on a country-by-country basis (i.e. we do not propose to provide core funding). We shall encourage other donors to take a similar approach, insisting on the importance of close monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of UNDCP's approach.
· DFID will work closely with other government departments to ensure that its activities in the field of illicit drugs are consistent with the government's UK drugs strategy. DFID will continue its close collaboration with Drugs and International Crime Department (DICD) in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Other departments accept that DFID's work must be consistent with the 1980 Overseas Development Co-operation Act and with DFID's primary purpose of poverty eradication. DFID will work with them to develop a set of indicators to measure progress with international drugs control, though DFID needs additionally to develop its own means of assessing how far its contribution to drugs control programmes contributes to its poverty-reduction objective.