Acting Minister of Home Affairs, Michael Lashley. (FP)

Acting Minister of Home Affairs, Michael Lashley. (FP)

Barbados’ National Anti-Drug Plan has been approved by Cabinet.

This was disclosed recently by Acting Minister of Home Affairs, Michael Lashley, during a church service at the First Baptist Church to mark the 21st anniversary of the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA).

Under the plan, Mr. Lashley said the NCSA, as the drug authority, would be better poised to comprehensively coordinate drug control strategies with all drug demand reduction and supply reduction stakeholders in Barbados.

He added that priority would also be given to institutional strengthening as the main basis for increased stakeholder participation; effective management of scarce resources; and a mobilisation agenda premised on networking and coordinated advocacy.

The Minister explained the plan would see the establishment of an effective network to enable inter-agency communication, monitoring and evaluation, and the harmonisation and alignment of governmental, corporate and non-governmental policies, procedures and plans.

In addition, he said it would also bring about increased productivity and effective utilisation of resources, along with an improved legislative framework with respect to the five strategic areas – drug demand reduction; supply reduction; control measures; institutional strengthening; and international cooperation. “These areas will be supported by a robust monitoring and evaluation mechanism,” Mr. Lashley said.

He noted that the NCSA had already identified six critical success factors within its Strategic Plan, which would systematically inform and harness the capabilities and resources necessary to ensure the agency’s long-term sustainability and viability.

These, Mr. Lashley said, would include developing awareness, engagement and communication strategies for socialising institutions such as families, churches and community groups; improving the coordination of resources; and utilising emerging technologies to deliver demand reduction activities.

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