The cultivation of illicit drug crops goes hand in hand with poverty and food insecurity. Weaning poor farmers off illicit crop cultivation requires sustainable alternative livelihoods, without which they will fall back on lucrative cash crops - coca leaf, opium poppy or cannabis - to survive. UNODC alternative development programmes therefore focus on providing economic and employment opportunities to communities subsisting on illicit crops.

The 2009 'Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation Towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem', being reviewed in Vienna this year, highlighted the need to address the supply side of the drug trade. UNODC helps States to implement  poverty reduction and rural development strategies, carrying out projects in Afghanistan, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Colombia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Peru.

At the High Level Review, Member States will consider the impact of alternative development activities and commit to measures to step up alternative livelihood programmes.

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