Afghanistan Supplies 93% of World's Opiates

Poppy crop jumps 34% over last year
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2007 6:47 AM CDT
An Afghan National Army soldier is seen destroying the opium poppies in a field, during a poppy eradication campaign in Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, April. 2, 2007. Afghanistan...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Afghanistan's opium production has soared over the last year and the country now supplies 93% of the world's opiates. Most of the poppies are grown along the country's southern border with Pakistan, where the insurgency is strong, security is weak, and the Taliban continues to use its drug profits to buy guns and keep itself running, reports the BBC.

Government corruption is considered a major factor in perpetuating the drug trade, but it's also alluring as one of the few routes to wealth in a desperately poor country, according to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. "Leaving aside 19th Century China, no country in the world has ever produced narcotics on such a deadly scale," the report states