UNODC and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will join forces to promote grass-roots development in poor rural communities dependent on the cultivation of illicit drug crops. An agreement on this was signed in Vienna today by UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, and UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella.

The current agreement builds on a previous joint UNODC/UNIDO project to provide alternative livelihoods for opium poppy growing communities in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR).

Bolivia, Colombia, the Lao PDR, Peru and Thailand are among countries that, according UNODC, have successfully implemented development-oriented drug control. In the Andean countries, jobs have been created through forestry activities and vocational training, while food security and nutrition have also been enhanced.

In promoting alternative development, UNIDO will focus on private sector development with emphasis on micro-, small and medium enterprises, agro-business development and environmental management.

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