Project Objective & Brief Description:
The Republic of Belarus absorbed more than 70% of the radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear accident; over one-fifth of its territory has been radioactively contaminated. The affected areas are currently home to 1.3 million residents: 14% of the total population of Belarus.
The accident has affected human security in three key ways: significant destabilization of income security by disrupting agricultural production - the main source of income for most of the affected population; creation of health risks linked to radiation exposure, most relating to the consumption of radioactively contaminated foods; shortage in the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude to live safety in conditions of low-dose radiation exposure.
Goal: To comprehensively enhance human security in the Chernobyl affected communities of the Slavgorod, Chechersk, Bragin, Stolin and Luninets districts.
In line with the project realisation residents of five target districts will be given the necessary means to improve income security, minimise radiation exposure and practise healthy lifestyles.
The project will enhance the effectiveness and impact of existing government policies on dealing with the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster and donor efforts, resolving problems that would otherwise remain unaddressed due to lack of capacity and/or resource limitations. It will bridge the mandates of several individual UN agencies by dealing with issues of economic development, sustainable livelihoods, education, reproductive health, the environment, community development and health promotion.
The project focuses on specific communities to develop and test new approaches which can later be extended to cover other Chernobyl-affected areas in Belarus.
Activities & Expected Results:
The project will focus on the following objectives:
(1) To enhance smallholders’ income security;
(2) To promote healthy lifestyles among pregnant women, new mothers and their families;
(3) To improve prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer;
(4) To improve radiation safety knowledge and skills among children and young people;
(5) To reduce consumption of radioactively contaminated food.
This will result in:
a) At least 25% of smallholders in the target communities increase production and incomes by adopting agricultural innovations piloted by the project;
b) Smallholders' produce complies with existing radiation safety standards and meets the criteria to certify as conforming to radiation safety standards;
c) 40-50% of smallholders in the target communities join groups to co-operate in implementing safe and low-cost farming practices and improving access to markets;
d) At least 90% of pregnant women and new mothers in the target community join a support group led by a local community leader and/or a nurse;
e) 100% of women aged 40 – 69 in the target districts covered by some form of screening for breast cancer by project end;
f) Around 80% of women aged between 18 and 40 know how to self-examine their breasts;
g) At least 50% of schoolchildren who have received radioecological education avoid 'high-risk' foods that have not been tested for radiation content;
h) At least 40% of the population will avoid berries, mushrooms, wild game and other 'high-risk' products without testing them for radiation content.