|Illicit Drugs and the Development Assistance Programme - Strategy paper (DFID, 1999, 18 p.)|
14 In the context of its poverty reduction and human rights objectives, DFID provides assistance to poor countries to improve personal security through community policing, as well as assistance to strengthen the effectiveness of tax collection on international trade. This involves developing the capacity of police and customs services: this general institutional development enhances the capability of the police and customs to deal with illegal drugs production and trading. Most such projects supported by DFID in drugs-producing and trading countries will have an indirect impact on drugs control.
15 Attempts to improve direct interventions to control drugs will only succeed if the institutional capacity of countries' enforcement services have been developed more generally, including in ways addressed by DFID's programmes. Improved intelligence and enforcement techniques, applied in isolation from wider education programmes, would simply score more highly on detecting and imprisoning offenders, without addressing the underlying problems (though there may also be some deterrent effect). Involving communities themselves in self-help initiatives may be crucial. DFID's support in areas other than law enforcement, such as rural livelihoods, infrastructure development, education, etc., will also have a potential beneficial indirect effect on drugs control.
16 Enforcement activities should include building improved capacity to address the organised criminal's response to the growing value of the drugs trade. This response manifests itself in corruption at all levels in society and government; an upward spiral in violent crime as inter-gang turf wars emerge; large-scale financial fraud and money laundering activities to dispose of large liquid capital reserves generated by the trade; and an undermining of national and international confidence in socio-economic and judicial systems. DFID will look for opportunities to engage in activities which address these issues, working with governments which are themselves committed to addressing them, with an emphasis on eliminating problems and distortions as they affect the poor and vulnerable. Action is required in the UK and other richer countries to ensure that their laws are effective against corruption and the movement of illicit funds.
17 DFID provides assistance to all Caribbean countries, including the Overseas Territories, as part of the Caribbean Drugs Initiative (CDI). This is an initiative co-ordinated by the EU and UN International Drugs Control Programme (UNDCP) and is aimed at combating the drugs trade. European and other governments are working in partnership with governments in the region. The initiative aims to tackle a range of activities that are needed across the region, including improved planning at national level, policing and customs, demand reduction, treatment and rehabilitation. This programme is the most ambitious and comprehensive attempt so far to tackle the drugs problem in the region. DFID has earmarked £7.5 million as a contribution. This will be used to help build local level capacity in police and customs in some of the more vulnerable Caribbean countries, and to provide support for the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police so that they can provide strong regional leadership. DFID is also taking a lead role in co-ordinating a European Commission/UK funded drugs training project for such agencies in the region.