Opium production in Afghanistan grows up to 8% this year, UN reports

11:12, 17 November 2021
Opium production in Afghanistan grows up to 8% this year, UN reports Photo: White House/via

Opium production in Afghanistan has increased up to 8% to 6,800 tons this year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said on Wednesday.

"It means that 320 tons of pure heroin will enter markets around the world," a new UN report on the Afghan drug situation reads.

Afghanistan currently supplies 80% of all consumers in the world with opiates as last years’ 85% of all opium was produced in this country. In addition, UN experts said that the production of synthetic drugs have increased as well.

“The illicit drug economy has become increasingly complex, with methamphetamine manufacture in Afghanistan sharply increasing in recent years. High regional and global demand for methamphetamine, coupled with a saturated market for opiates, could push the further expansion of manufacture of methamphetamine and other synthetic drugs,” the UN said.

According to UNODC, profits from the production of opiates in 2021 are estimated up to $2.7 billion, and their sales outside the country brought much more revenue. Political instability in Afghanistan has pushed up opium prices, which nearly doubled from May levels.

"Given the volatile security situation, protracted economic crisis, and health emergency, the international community must urgently provide basic needs and services to the people of Afghanistan to promote sustainable reductions in illicit drug cultivation, production and demand as part of overall UN assistance," the report said.

Afghanistan faces a huge humanitarian crisis while most parts of the Afghan people are struggling to feed themselves. The world media reported heartbreaking stories where the poor relatives were forced to sell even their small children to get some food.