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Every day Belarus puts $1mn into cushioning Chernobyl impact

The assignments equivalent to $1billion 600 million have been allocated from the national budget of Belarus to implement the 2006-2010 state programme to cushion the impact of the Chernobyl consequences. Thus, every day Belarus assigns $1 million to mitigate the Chernobyl impact, Vladimir Tsalko, Deputy Emergencies Minister of Belarus, stated during a session of the UN General Assembly, BelTA has been told in the press service of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.

Like the Russian Federation and Ukraine, for the past two decades Belarus has been counteracting the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster which had a devastating impact on all spheres of life – production, culture, science, economy, demography. More than 1 million 300 thousand people continue living in the contaminated areas which make up the fifth part of Belarus.

Vladimir Tsalko said that most urgent issues have been settled. Life in the affected regions has been steadily turning for the better. “Yet we face another difficult task which is to restore the economic potential of the affected regions, create the environment for safe living, manufacture of clear food products, health protection,” he said.

In view of the growing incidence of diseases especially thyroid cancer, improvements in the specialized medical help has been in the focus. Capital investments are allocated to build housing for the disabled people whose disability is attributed to the Chernobyl disaster. The work has been underway to extend gas supply networks, to provide local communities with clean drinking water, to built hospital, schools and preschool establishments. The measures are taken to ensure targeted use of the financial assistance and to create privileged economic conditions to promote the development of the regions.

“We continue bearing the main burden of rehabilitating the contaminated territories. We appreciate the support and solidarity of the international community which we have repeatedly made sure of today,” Vladimir Tsalko said.

He thanked the co-authors of the resolution adopted on November 19 on optimizing the international effort to study, mitigate and minimize the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. It notes that the United Nations has shifted its strategy from a humanitarian approach to one that focuses on sustainable development.

The UN member states also supported the proposal to declare “Decade of restoration and sustainable development of the Chernobyl affected regions” adopted at the Minsk international conference on Chernobyl. “I hope that our joint efforts will help minimize the negative impact of the Chernobyl disaster on the life and health of people and, what is equally important, to prevent such catastrophes in the future and ensure ecological safety of our planet,” Belarus’ representatives concluded.

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