US anti-drug cooperation with Peru may total US$ 150 million this year


US anti-drug cooperation with Peru may total US$ 150 million this yearThe U.S. cooperation to combat drug trafficking in Peru is likely to amount to US$ 150 million in 2010, the same as last year, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) representative in Peru, Andrew Herscowitz, said Sunday.

Herscowitz explained that the U.S. Congress will begin the national budget debate in August and will determine the amounts of money to international cooperation, especially to contribute to the fight against drugs.

"We are talking about more than US$ 150 million in 2009. This year’s amount has not been determined yet, but we believe it will be very similar," he told Andina.

The official noted that the U.S. Congress members determine the annual amount based on several factors, including the results in the fight against drug trafficking and the global financial crisis.

He added that the United States government’s budget has increased greatly in recent years due to the slowdown of the global economy, and therefore, the U.S. considers it important that its funds should be used properly.

"The United States is in the process of designing a new strategy against drug trafficking. We are consulting with NGOs, indigenous communities, regional governments, municipal councils, and Peruvian academics," said Herscowitz.

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