Published time: October 21, 2014 09:37
Edited time: October 21, 2014 10:37
Despite Washington spending $7.6 billion on counter-narcotic initiatives in Afghanistan, 2013 witnessed a record surge in the amount of opium poppy cultivation, according to the US inspector general for Afghan reconstruction.
The Central Asian country cultivated a record 209,000 hectares (516,000 acres) of opium poppy in 2013, beating the previous highest level of 193,000 hectares (477,000 acres) in 2007, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Battle-hardened Afghanistan produces more than 80 percent of the world’s opium.
“In past years, surges in opium poppy cultivation have been met by a coordinated response from the US government and coalition partners, which has led to a temporary decline in levels…
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