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How the Helmand Food Zone supported an increase in the province's capacity to produce opium.
The goal of the Helmand Food Zone (HFZ) was to bring about a rapid and significant reduction in opium poppy cultivation. It was funded directly by the UK and US governments to the tune of between US$12 and $18 million per year between the autumn of 2008 and 2012. The program ran alongside a massive increase in the number of international and Afghan military forces fighting in Helmand and increases in the amount of development assistance known as “the surge.”
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