In 2016, the annual village survey was conducted in 591 villages in Shan state, the main opium poppy cultivating area in Myanmar. An independent area estimation was not part of the survey this year; however, UNODC expanded largely on the socio‐economic analysis of opium cultivation in the context of the UN Guiding Principles on Alternative Development and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
UNODC is assisting the Government of Myanmar in implementing an alternative development strategy, and has been requested to increase support in this area. UNODC has therefore developed several projects to improve short‐ and medium‐term accessto food and income. The scale of these programmes requires significant large funds to become effective at a regional level, however.
Successful implementation of a national drug control strategy is also dependent on international efforts to control drug trafficking and organized crime in the region. A comprehensive approach is needed to tackle the challenges that may be posed by the possible links between drug trafficking, corruption and different forms of organized crime. Owing to the transnational nature of drug‐ related crimes, coordinated cross‐border collaboration and alternative development activities are important, where appropriate and feasible, which requires support of the international community
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