Afghans working together for a brighter tomorrow
Friday, November 19, 2004
Under the Taliban, the peoples of Afghanistan were separated into many groups based on geographic, racial and religious lines. Since the overthrow of the Taliban, the people have found a something to bring them together in peace and harmony, the opium trade.
40% of Afghanistan’s GDP comes from selling Persian rugs on the Home Shopping Network
Yes, opium production has brought the people of Afghanistan together. Over 10% of the country now works in some capacity involving the production or trade of opium. In 2003, the opium trade brought in an unprecedented $2.8 billion. This means that the opium trade accounts for 60% of Afghanistan’s GDP, the other 40% of Afghanistan’s GDP comes from selling Persian rugs on the Home Shopping Network. Estimates of this year’s poppy crop put production up by 64%. The makes Afghanistan not the only worlds largest producer of opium, but means that it owns more than 87% of the whole world’s market.
trouble is coming to the simple poppy loving people of Afghanistan
But trouble is coming to the simple poppy loving people of Afghanistan. A UN report released on Thursday urged the US and Nato forces to fight drugs. The United States has pledged to shift $700 million dollars from the War on Terror to fight poppy production in Afghanistan, including an aggressive spraying program. Resistance has come from the Afghani government claiming concerns about health effects and reports that children had suffered diarrhea and skin rashes.
Antonio Maria Costa of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime quoted his favorite author Tom Clancy in saying, “"In Afghanistan, drugs are now a clear and present danger." Costa went on to say, “The opium economy in Afghanistan has to be dismantled with democracy, the rule of law and economic improvement.” But in this case, the people have spoken: 2.3 million of them want the smack.