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Anti-drug programme prolonged for two years

1 February 2007 - February marks the launch of the third stage of the Programme of Assistance for the Prevention of Drug Abuse and Drug Trafficking in Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova (BUMAD-3). The European Commission and UNDP have committed 670,000 Euro for the coming two years. The Ministry of Interior as one of the principle recipients of the Programme assistance is responsible for the project implementation in Belarus.

The third stage logically continues the previous two stages of the BUMAD Programme which was launched in 2003. Within the four years of the Programme implementation, for the first time a comprehensive and system analysis was made of Belarus national legislation and organizational structure in the sphere of drug trafficking in line with international norms, and concrete recommendations on its improving were developed.

Ten checkpoints on Belarus border with Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania were supplied with specialized and computer equipment. Customs officers were trained on the rummaging techniques and concealment methods. Units of the Ministry of Interior, Customs and Border Guards received analytical software actively used by police in many EU member states and by the Interpol to disclose drug-related crimes.

The BUMAD Programme is unique in that it applies a complex approach towards the problem of drug addiction and drug trafficking, which is divided into the legal, law-enforcement, and prevention components, UNDP Programme Associate, Anna Chernysheva, says. The Programme not only provides technical assistance in form of equipment, but also contributes to changing the legislation, training on modern concealment methods, and creating structures in line with international standards, thus ensuring sustainability of the Programme results.

The main objective of the third stage of the BUMAD Programme is two-fold: strengthening of the national capacities on counteracting illicit drug smuggling through the state border and inside the country, and comprehensive prevention of drug addiction among children and young people, with mass media involved.

In the course of the Programme implementation, the work will be continued on developing the Belarusian legislation and bringing it in line with the UN conventions. Moreover, more special technical equipment will be provided to bodies engaged in fighting illicit drug trafficking. The activities of the National Center of Drug Monitoring and Use, and conducting of surveys aimed to study the situation of drug abuse will be supported by the Programme.

Like at the previous stages, the work will be done simultaneously in three countries Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova, thus creating necessary conditions for exchanging experience and developing contacts.

For more information please refer to National Manager of the BUMAD Programme in Belarus, Irina Zhygalko, at 219-79-96, or UNDP Communications Associate, Vladislav Khilkevich, at 227-38-17.

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