Wa News

Thu, 1 July 2010

Antoinio Mariea Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, said “We see a region (the Golden Triangle) that is rapidly ...
In his contribution to a book called Trouble in the Triangle: Opium and Conflict in Burma, Milsom stated that “Wei Xuegang [a Wa drugs baron who was close ...
As an indirect consequence of American involvement in the Golden Triangle until 1972, opium production steadily increased….Southeast Asia's Golden Triangle ...
Our Purpose

We are a non-profit organization dedicated to helping communities break free of their dependence on opium production for survival. We work toward this goal by planning alternative development strategies and facilitating communication between drug producing communities and the rest of the world.

The destructive effects of the trade in opium and its derivative, heroin, are felt globally: from opium farmers struggling to feed their families, to governments' efforts to control organized crime syndicates, to the ruined lives of addicts and their families throughout the world. Focusing on the world's largest opium-producing region, the Golden Triangle of northeast Myanmar, our work benefits not only the communities we work with, but also people and societies around the world.


The people of the Golden Triangle, primarily ethnic minorities, are trapped in a vicious cycle of dependence on opium cultivation to meet basic life needs. Decades of isolation and political instability in the region have made it impossible for these people to develop other means of subsistence. The proximity of the drug trade has a destructive impact on the health of individuals and societies; in the Golden Triangle drug abuse and HIV infection rates are among the highest in the world.

At the same time, misunderstanding propagated by sensational and sometimes misinformed media reports have hindered the region's leaders in their attempts to break free of this cycle. Although the challenges are great, they realize that positive economic alternatives are necessary not just to eradicate opium but, more importantly, to create a brighter future for their people.

The IFPEOC was founded in 1997 to help people in the Golden Triangle break out of their cultural isolation and discover different social and economic models, enabling them to reduce their dependency on the drug trade.

Wa People

Over several years, we have established lines of communication to the various ethnic leaders in the Golden Triangle region. To pilot IFPEOC's programs, we chose the 600,000 people in the Wa State* of northeast Myanmar for their clear resolve to free themselves of opium production.

The Wa leadership has officially pledged to eliminate all opium production within their territory by the year 2005, and we are dedicated to helping them achieve this goal. Today, the IFPEOC maintains direct communications with the Wa leadership, which in turn looks to the IFPEOC as an important channel of communication to the world beyond its borders.

*Officially known as the Second Special Area of the Shan State.
The International Foundation for the Peaceful Elimination of Opium Crops (IFPEOC)