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BUMAD Implementation Outcomes Summed Up

A conference on summing up the outcomes of the joint EU/UNDP project “Programme for the Prevention of Drug Abuse and the Fight against Drug Trafficking in Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova“ (BUMAD) implemented since 2003 was held yesterday in Minsk.

Belarus is located on the crossroads of drug trafficking routes with opiates and heroin coming from East to West and synthetic drugs flowing from West to East. In order to keep the situation under control a high level of analytical and operative search work of the law enforcement agencies within the country and at its borders is required. As the criminals constantly improve the routes and methods of trafficking, the officers of police, customs and border guards should have a wide array of modern technical equipment in their arsenal that allow them to detect drug trafficking efforts. Along with the drug enforcement measures, effective drug prevention activities among school children and youth should be in place. For those who has already fallen victim of drug addiction, appropriate treatment and rehabilitation should be provided.

“Society and the government institutions face these problems together. The BUMAD project was designed to help solve these problems by providing technical assistance, professional training of the law–enforcement staff, exchange of ideas and experience, setting up a system of data gathering and analysis on drugs and drug addiction, organizing prevention events for the most vulnerable groups of population, and supporting initiatives on the rehabilitation of drug addicts. In my view, the project has successfully coped with its tasks”, noted Mr. Antonius Broek, UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus.

The total financing of the three stages of the project in Belarusexceeded 2,380,000 Euro, of them more than 1,300,000 Euro were allocated for procurement of special equipment for law enforcement agencies. The project assisted in supplying ten checkpoints on Belarus’ State Border and laboratories for narcotic substances analysis of Brest and Gomel regional interior departments with specialized and computer equipment. Moreover, a dog training service for drug search and a center for drug abuse monitoring were created under the project. A number of recommendations of the working group on legal issues were reflected in the national drug–related legislation.

Over 9,000 people participated in a prevention campaign “Minsk Region against Drugs”. BUMAD information and education activities contributed to birth of new state rehabilitation programmes for drug addicts. The project also provided assistance in creation of the first in Belarusreference book on such programmes, and of a documentary about the national rehabilitation centers. In general, the drug abuse problem is more openly spoken of in the Belarusian society today.

The participants of the final conference expressed hope that initiatives realized in the BUMAD project will be supported by the government agencies and non–governmental organizations and will contribute to drug demand and supply reduction in the country.

More photos from the conference.

For additional information please refer to Project Manager Irina Zhygalko at (+375 17) 219–79–96, or UNDP Communications Associate Vladislav Khilkevich at (+375 17) 227–38–17.

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