U.S. steps up drug war assistance to Laos
Vientiane, Laos (Sept. 28, 2010) – The United States Embassy has signed an Agreement with Laos to provide additional counternarcotics assistance. The amendment commits an additional $50,000 to a previous Letter of Agreement signed on May 6, 2010 for $650,000 from the United States Government for these efforts for 2010. The total funding under these programs for 2010 now totals $700,000. These programs will be administered by the U.S. Embassy Law Enforcement and Narcotics Section.
The agreement was signed last week in a ceremony that took place at the Office of the Prime Minister. Officials representatives including United States Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Peter Haymond, and Soubanh Srithirath, Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office and Chair of the Lao National Committee for Drug Control and Supervision.
The funds provided by the Letter of Agreement will assist the Government of Laos to reduce the demand for Amphetamine Type Stimulants and other illegal drugs, and provide for the treatment, rehabilitation, and after-care of ATS addicts.
The agreement also provides support for the training and equipping of Lao law enforcement officials. In addition, it will provide alternative crops and income substitute assistance to former opium cultivators, and supports rehabilitation of opium addicts with a focus on Phong Saly and Houaphan provinces.