Like it or not, illicit commerce now affects the lives of millions of poor people, and will leave almost no aspect of development untouched – who gets access to land and markets; how jobs are created; how incomes are distributed; or what drives cross-border financial flows. Yet, the illicit economy remains a key blind spot in development analysis.

New reports on how the illicit drugs trade affects poverty eradication, commissioned by Christian Aid but not necessarily reflecting its own position, are now being published. They aim to lift the veil, particularly among development agencies, and are intended as a contribution to the discussions for the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem in April 2016.

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