U.S. and Afghanistan Announce $19.2 Million in Good Performers Initiative Awards for Provincial Counternarcotics Achievements
On December 3, 2011 at the Afghan Government Media and Information Center, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker and Afghanistan’s Minister for Counter Narcotics Zarar Moqbel Osmani announced $19.2 million in Good Performers Initiative (GPI) awards to provinces that achieved or retain poppy-free status or reduced net poppy cultivation by more than 10 percent over the previous year. Twenty-two of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces received GPI awards in 2011, including 17 provinces that earned $1 million awards for being poppy-free.
The Good Performers Initiative was launched by President Karzai in 2007 with the purpose of delivering timely, high-impact development assistance to provinces leading the fight against poppy cultivation in Afghanistan. GPI projects help build infrastructure, employ local citizens, and give tangible recognition to governors who demonstrate strong leadership in reducing and eliminating poppy cultivation in their provinces. To date, the GPI program has supported more than 90 development projects, including roads, schools, clinics, and other infrastructure projects.
The Department of State’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) funds GPI and Afghanistan’s Ministry of Counter Narcotics works with each province to design and implement development projects using GPI funds. GPI awards are calculated based on final poppy cultivation figures from the annual Afghanistan Opium Survey published by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).