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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) plays a pivotal role in the fight against nuclear proliferation by verifying that countries' nuclear programmes remain peaceful. In addition, the Agency promotes the use of nuclear technology in secure conditions.
In support of this vital role of the IAEA, Belgium makes annual voluntary contributions in addition to its compulsory contribution to the regular budget.
Since Russia's invasion, the safety of several nuclear sites in Ukraine has been compromised. The best known of these is the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Because of the Russian occupation, staff cannot work there in safe conditions. In addition, the site has already been shelled and the supply lines of electricity were damaged, forcing the site to regularly rely on emergency generators.
By providing manpower and resources, the IAEA provides assistance to Ukraine in nuclear safety. The agency maintains a permanent presence of nuclear safety experts in Zaporizhzhya and in four other nuclear power plants.
Earlier this year, Belgium donated one million euros to the IAEA for its activities in Ukraine. Now another two million euros will be added. With this grant, Belgium supports efforts to prevent a nuclear incident that would have a radiological impact in Ukraine, and possibly beyond.
Belgium also contributes 1,670,000 euros to the IAEA for the prevention of nuclear proliferation and for activities in the fields of medicine, agriculture, gender and security. The Fund for Technological Cooperation is allocated €745,740. This fund is the main financial instrument for improving access to nuclear technology in sectors such as health, food, agriculture, environment and energy.
In addition, Belgium supports following specific projects:
- 100,000 euros for strengthening the capacity of member states in the implementation of safeguards and nuclear accounting;
- 100,000 euros for improving diversity within the Agency;
- 65,000 euro for the training of female scientists;
- 250,000 euros for cancer control in countries with little or no access to radiotherapy services;
- 100,000 euros to the interactive learning platform for nuclear medicine;
- 235,000 euros for a project aiming to increase the resilience of banana and coffee plantations to climate change and diseases;
- 74,260 euros for nuclear security.
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