National plan to strengthen Cambodia anti-drug campaign

Mech Dara

PHNOM PENH (THE PHNOM PENH POST/ANN) – Cambodia’s National Strategic Development Plan 2019-2023 directs the authorities and institutions to carry out effective prevention, crackdown and resolution of drug issues, and all commune authorities to be confident in dealing with drug problems in their areas.

The directive was made during the drafting of the National Plan on Drug Control 2019-2023 at the Ministry of Interior on Wednesday.

Headed by the ministry’s National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) President Ke Kim Yan, it was attended by around 100 participants from relevant ministries and institutions.

Kim Yan said, “I don’t want to talk about strengthening provincial and district campaigns anymore because they have been introduced for many years. Anyone who fails to take action must face administrative measures.

“Commune mechanisms must push forward in three to five years. [We must] do whatever we can to make commune authorities capable of managing and controlling drug [issues] in their communes by 2023.”

Cambodia’s Ministry of Interior’s National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) President Ke Kim Yan. PHOTO: ANN

He said effective prevention and elimination of drug-related issues will require the full cooperation of the relevant authorities to ensure the protection of the people’s welfare and the maintenance of peace and public order.

“All ministries, institutions and units must develop their own annual operation plan to implement activities within their authority and areas of responsibility.

“They must prepare a monitoring mechanism to evaluate and identify areas of strength and weakness, including the foundations for preparing plans and future goals and activities to be effectively implemented in the following years,” Kim Yan said.

He also said that each health centre in the communes must be able to rehabilitate and regulate drug addicts from their localities to ease the load of provincial and district hospitals.

According to NACD secretary-general Meas Virith, the draft plan aims to strengthen the government’s drug campaign.

“We will follow the old plan’s format and make up for any points and challenges that are lacking. We will also introduce plans to resolve the remaining issues together with other new measures to respond to the current drug situation,” said Virith.

The plan, he said, also allows relevant local institutions, such as schools and communities, to participate in educating youth and the public about drug issues.

Director of Drug Addict Relief Association of Cambodia (Darac) Meas Sovann welcomed the introduction of the national plan, saying that “some local authorities have failed to deliver on their duty to prevent and eliminate drug issues, which can put public safety at risk”.