Home > Middle East > Drug trade could splinter Afghanistan into fragmented criminal state – UN | The Guardian

Drug trade could splinter Afghanistan into fragmented criminal state – UN | The Guardian

Afghanistan’s booming narcotics trade risks splintering the country into a “fragmented, criminal state” if the government and its western allies do not step up efforts to tackle opium production and the illicit economy it supports, a senior UN official warned.

Opium farming in Afghanistan, the world’s main producer of the drug, hit a record high last year, with farmers harvesting a crop worth nearly $1bn (£610m) to them, and far more to the traffickers who take about four-fifths of the profit.

There are no miracle cures. A transformation of the corrupt economy could take up to two decades, and opium production is likely to climb beyond 2013’s worrying levels before it falls again, said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, outgoing head of the UN office on drugs and crime in Afghanistan.

For more on this story, visit: Drug trade could splinter Afghanistan into fragmented criminal state – UN | World news | The Guardian.

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