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Andean nations launch joint program to combat drugs

LIMA, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Andean Community of Nations (CAN) members have launched a program aimed at reducing drug demand in the region, a Peruvian official said here Tuesday.

The project, named "Support for the Reduction in the Demand for Drugs in Andean Countries," is expected to last four and a half years, said Carmen Masias, head of Peru's National Commission for the Development and Life Without Drugs.

EU countries are backing the program with a financial contribution of 6.5 million euros (about 8.9 million U.S. dollars), and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) will be in charge of follow-up efforts, Masias added.

The project was unveiled at a meeting of representatives of the four CAN members, namely, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

UNDOC representative Flavio Mirella said the program will help bolster the fight against drug-trafficking by focusing on prevention among high-risk groups.

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