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Many countries are increasingly vulnerable to violent conflicts, natural or men-made disasters which can erase decades of development and deepen poverty and inequality. Through its global network, the UNDP seeks out and shares innovative approaches for crisis prevention, early warning systems, and conflict resolution. And the UNDP is on the ground in almost every developing country — so wherever the next crisis occurs, the UNDP will be there to help bridge the gap between emergency relief and long-term development.

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The Chernobyl nuclear accident of 26 April 1986 remains one of the biggest man-made disaster in world history. 23% of Belarus’ territory was contaminated with radioactive fallout. Today over 1.5 million inhabitants continue to live in contaminated areas, including over 300,000 children. The most vulnerable groups in the affected areas face a complex and progressive downward spiral of living conditions compounded by psychological depression, health disorders, environmental threats, and diminishing opportunities for economic self-sufficiency. The international community has provided substantial humanitarian assistance to the people affected by Chernobyl.


In 2002, UNDP along with the UN OCHA, UNICEF and WHO, commissioned a report entitled “Human Consequences of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident. A Strategy for Recovery ”, which proposed a new vision of development to tackle the problem. The report stated that “rather than focusing narrowly on the issue of radioactivity, the approach should be holistic, integrating health, ecological and economic measures to address the needs of those concerned in the round, ... to give individuals and communities control over their own future”.

Creating partnerships and mobilazing resources for Chernobyl rehabilitation

The UNDP implemented a Support Project for the Cooperation for Rehabilitation (CORE) Programme. From the early days, CORE has brought together four Belarusian districts which suffered the most from the Chernobyl disaster: the Bragin and Chechersk districts (Gomel region), the Slavgorod district (Mogilev region) and the Stolin district (Brest region) as well as a wide range of national, foreign and international partners and donors. 146 projects worth about Euro 9 million were developed in the target districts under the Programme.

Despite multiple assessments of the situation in and around the nuclear plant and in the contaminated areas, the existing information on the accident’s radiological, ecological, and health consequences remains often conflicting and poorly known to the public. The International Chernobyl Research and Information Network (ICRIN), was established with the support of the UNDP, UN OCHA, and the Swiss government, to ensure that research results better meet the needs of the affected people of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. The first ICRIN publication, ‘An Information Needs Assessment of the Chernobyl affected population in the Republic of Belarus’, shows that residents of the contaminated areas attach primary importance to socio-economic issues, improvement of living standards and are seriously concerned with the status and prospects of their health.

UNDP activities focusing on post-Chernobyl recovery have been given a new impetus. Under the joint EU/UNDP Action “Combat the negative affects of the Chernobyl Disaster in Belarus”, two related projects “Area Based Development of the Chernobyl-Affected Areas of Belarus” and “Establishment of International Scientific and Practical Centre of Thyroid Disease” with the total budget of 2.6 million EURO had been successfully implemented. About 60 local project initiatives in the field of healthcare, energy efficiency, sports and human security were realized in the affected areas under the ABD project; over 9500 people have benefitted from the project activities undertaken in the target districts.

On-going Projects:

00069409 Development of International Chernobyl Research and Information Network (ICRIN)

00070564 Enhancing Human Security in the Chernobyl Affected Areas of Belarus


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