Press TV – October 22, 2009
Opium production rate has soared to 6,900 tons in Afghanistan in the past 10 years despite the presence of 100,000 foreign troops in the country for nearly eight years.
A report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime said on Wednesday that Afghanistan produces 92 percent of the world's opium that has devastating global consequences.
The UN report also noted that Afghanistan's illegal opium production is worth 65 billion dollars.
The heroin and opium market feeds 15 million addicts, with Europe, Russia and Iran consuming half the supply, UNODC reported.
The UN office estimated some 15 million people take the drug each year, out of which 100,000 people die annually, warning that opium use contributes to the spread of HIV and AIDS.
The report indicated that less than two percent of the opium and heroin is seized by the local authorities before it leaves Afghanistan.
The Afghanistan-Pakistan border region has turned into the world's largest free-trade zone in anything and everything that is illicit, from drugs and weapons to even people and migrants, added the UNODC study.
The report added that Afghanistan has a stockpile of enough opium to supply global demand for two years underlining the need to locate and destroy these stocks urgently.
Original source: www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=109291&ionid=351020403
Last updated 25/10/2009