The Economics of Opium

    OTTAWA, June 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Two leading experts on the narcotics
economy of Afghanistan will be in Ottawa on June 28 for a public dialogue
aimed at promoting understanding of the challenges posed by the illicit
cultivation of poppy and its impact on the reconstruction and development of

    Date:  Thursday, June 28, 2007
    Time:  7:45 - 9:30 am
    Where: Wellington Room, Ottawa Marriott, 100 Kent St.
           A light breakfast will be served

    Afghanistan currently supplies over 90% of the world's illegal opium, a
harvest that contributes to ongoing violence, narco-terrorism, and corruption.
At the same time, poppy cultivation provides millions of rural Afghans with
their livelihoods. With another bumper harvest expected in 2007, opium will
continue to dominate the country's economic, social, and political future.
    David Mansfield and Dr. William Byrd will address these issues and
discuss policy options during the public dialogue. David Mansfield is a drugs
and development specialist, currently advising a range of organizations,
including the UK Government, the European Community, the World Bank, as well
as various NGOs with regard to illicit drugs in Afghanistan and rural
    Dr. William Byrd is currently serving in the World Bank Headquarters in
Washington, DC as Advisor in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management
Unit of the South Asia Region. Until recently he was the Bank's Senior
Economic Advisor based in Kabul, and has been responsible for helping develop
the World Bank's strategy for support to Afghanistan's reconstruction effort.
    Lucy van Oldenbarneveld of CBC News at Six will moderate the dialogue,
which is organized by Aga Khan Foundation Canada and the International
Development Research Centre. For more information, visit:

    About AKFC

    Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) is a non-profit international agency
that supports social development programs in Asia and Africa. As a member of
the Aga Khan Development Network, the Foundation works to address the root
causes of poverty: finding and sharing "Smart Solutions" that help improve the
quality of life for poor communities.

    About IDRC

    Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is one of the
world's leading institutions in the generation and application of new
knowledge to meet the challenges of international development. For more than
35years, IDRC has worked in close collaboration with researchers from the
developing world to build healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous

For further information:

For further information: Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé, (613) 236-6163, ext.
2343, (613) 816-7620,

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International Development Research Centre

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Aga Khan Foundation Canada

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