Devida: Peru to spend $32 million in 2010 on counternarcotics programs

Peru’s government will spend 93 million soles, about $32 million, in 2010 to combat drug trafficking, according to the head of the anti-drug agency Devida, Rómulo Pizarro.

Pizarro said last week that 40 million soles, or $14 million, will be used to finance sustainable development projects in the coca growing areas that cover the Apurímac and Ene river valley’s, known as the VRAE, state news agency Andina reported.

“Peru will have to continue providing our own resources to fight drug trafficking, due to the fact that in the short term international assistance is not going to increase,” Pizarro said.

A report published by the U.S. State Department earlier this month said Peru has not committed sufficient funding resources for its counter-narcotics plan. It said the Andean country was relying heavily on U.S. assistance to fund eradication efforts, provide aerial support, and maintain police bases in coca growing regions.

Peru is the world’s second largest manufacturer of cocaine, after Colombia. A report by the International Narcotics Control Board, however, said the country’s growing illicit cultivation of coca leaf – the raw material used to make cocaine – and consequent drug supply could surpass Colombia in five to 10 years.

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