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close this bookIllicit Drugs and the Development Assistance Programme - Strategy Paper (DFID, 1999, 18 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentSummary
View the documentBackground and purpose
View the documentLegal and policy basis
View the documentDrugs and poverty
Open this folder and view contentsThe response
View the documentEvaluation and performance measurement (bilateral activities)
View the documentCo-ordination within Whitehall
View the documentAnnex : The European Union's support for combating drugs

Legal and policy basis

4 The 'primary purpose' test established in the courts in relation to the 1980 Overseas Development Co-operation Act requires that any support provided from the aid budget must be for the benefit of another country. It is clearly not for DFID to finance activities whose prime purpose is to inhibit flows of illicit drugs to the UK. However, cultivation, trafficking and use of illicit drugs are detrimental to sustainable economic and social development. It is therefore permissible under the 1980 Act for DFID to finance activities related to enforcement of laws prohibiting cultivation or trade in illicit drugs; demand reduction; rehabilitation of drug abusers in developing countries; and alternative development in rural areas and urban development projects aimed at providing alternatives to illicit drugs-trade involvement. All these elements have a bearing on the task of dealing with the drugs problem: experience has shown that there are no technical quick fixes.

5 With the publication of its White Paper on International Development, the government adopted a more coherent anti-poverty focus for the development assistance programme: 'We shall refocus our international development efforts on the elimination of poverty and encouragement of economic growth which benefits the poor. We will do this through support for international sustainable development targets and policies which create sustainable livelihoods for poor people, promote human development and conserve the environment.' This provides the policy context for future anti-drugs activities funded from the development assistance budget.