EU allocates EUR 5 mln to assist people living in proximity to Chornobyl exclusion zone
The European Union has allocated EUR 5 million for medical and laboratory equipment to a hospital, establishing an information centre, a greenhouse and a forest waste incinerator, radiological mapping of the area, and regular medical examinations for children in Ivankiv district, Kyiv region, the EU Delegation to Ukraine said on Tuesday, July 10.
This was made possible thanks to the EU project 'Health and Ecological Programmes around the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone,' the EU Delegation said in a statement.
This was announced during the visit of Members of the European Parliament, Michèle Rivasi and Julie Ward, and Head of Section "Economic Cooperation, Social and Regional Development" of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Juana Mera-Cabello to Ivankiv district and Chornobyl on July 9, 2018.
The Members of the EU Parliament presented the results also in a colloquium held in Kyiv on July 10, 2018 with participation of Acting Minister of Health Ulana Suprun and Deputy Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mykola Kuzio.
"I am pleased to support this European programme which is the result of a unique cooperation between the European Parliament and the European Commission. Five million people live in a contaminated area of 150,000 square km. International support should not be restricted to the safety of nuclear reactors, but equally focus on people, their health and their environment," Michèle Rivasi, Member of the European Parliament, said.
Under the project, modern medical and laboratory equipment has been provided to Ivankiv district hospital to measure the radioactive and chemical agents in human bodies and food. and up-to-date radiological mapping of the area around Ivankiv has been held and an information centre established to raise awareness of general public about the potential consequences of and ways to avoid radiological hazards.
In addition, long-term health checks of around 3,000 children in Ivankiv district have started.
A state-of-the-art greenhouse of about 7,500 square meters has been constructed in Ivankiv district to allow the production of healthy vegetables, free from radioactive contamination or chemical pollution, for the local population.
A EUR 1.25 million incinerator for forest waste has been put into operation in Chornobyl to prevent forest fires and resultant spread of airborne radionuclides.
The project "Health and Ecological Programmes around the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone" was financed through the EU's Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation. It aims to improve the overall quality of life in the areas affected by the Chornobyl accident by reducing the level of radiations that the population is exposed to, and mitigate the effects of such exposure. The project was implemented in partnership with the State Agency of Ukraine for the Exclusion Zone Management and the local authorities of Ivankiv. It lasted from 2013 until 2017.
Since 1991, the European Union has contributed more than EUR 900 million to support improvements in the safety of Ukraine's nuclear industry. Its projects include improving safety in the operation and maintenance of Ukraine's four nuclear power plants, support of the establishment of an appropriate national radioactive waste management infrastructure, institutional support to Ukraine's nuclear regulator, financing of a new safe confinement over the damaged Chornobyl reactor, as well as a number of social projects to support the communities living with the consequences of the 1986 Chornobyl Accident.