Pakistan sits on one of the world’s busiest drug trafficking corridors, largely due to the cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis in neighboring Afghanistan. According to UNODC estimates 40% of the drugs (heroin & charas) produced in Afghanistan are routed through Pakistan. There are about 8.9 million drug users living in Pakistan, most of whom are young people. In Pakistan there are very few Harm Reduction centers nor are there any big government programs for harm reduction. However donor agencies such as the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and UNODC support harm reduction programs for people who inject drugs. These programs are implemented through civil society organizations (CSOs) in selected cities.
Youth Rise Pakistan is working to establish a network of young drug users and youth led NGO’s who will work together to reduce the demand of drugs through awareness programs, preventive education, treatment and rehabilitation, as well as harm reduction programs.