Opium cultivation in Afghanistan has reached a record high this year, with a 7% increase over production last year. Afghanistan grows about 80% of the world’s opium.
As the country struggles to become self-sufficient in all areas of life, it will have to deal with this sort of criminalisation of its economics and politics. Poppy production provides a huge profit in one of the world’s poorest countries. They play a huge role in the corruption that is a part of everyday life in the country.
Poppy farmers are often taxed by the Taliban who fund their fight against the government and others with this money. Many of the large poppy growing areas are in Taliban held regions. So its impact is much bigger and seen in different ways throughout the country.
Un figures suggest that heroin addiction has risen sharply. Whereas it was almost nothing under the Taliban from 1996-2001, the figures suggest that there are now more than one million heroin addicts in the country. This is a yet another tragedy in this already struggling nation.
When poverty combines with the brokenness of war affecting other areas of society and a person’s well-being, it becomes a potent combination for the exploitation of drug addiction.
Pray for Afghanistan, for breakthroughs from the bondages of brokenness, poverty, war and hopelessness. Pray for God to do a mighty work of revelation and bring new life and hope into this situation.