U.S. State Department Geographic Bureaus: Europe and Canada Bureau

U.S. Department of State
96/03/19 Statement: US Assistance to Victims of Chernobyl
Office of the Spokesman

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman

(Kiev, Ukraine)
____________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release             March 19, 1996

STATEMENT BY NICHOLAS BURNS, SPOKESMAN

U.S. ASSISTANCE TO THE VICTIMS OF CHERNOBYL

HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE

Operation Provide Hope: A cooperative effort between the United States and private voluntary organizations (PVOs), Operation Provide Hope has delivered over 200 tons of medical supplies worth over $15 million to hospitals in Ukraine, including the Kozeletz Hospital, the Chernigov Oblast Cancer Hospital and the Chernigov Maternity Hospital, as well as hospitals in Lviv treating radiation-affected patients. On April 26, 1996, Operation Provide Hope will deliver an additional $10 million in medicine, hospital equipment and other medical supplies to hospitals in Ukraine on the tenth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster.

Children of Chernobyl Relief Fund (CCRF): The United States has provided transportation for over 702 tons of CCRF-donated medical supplies valued at over $26 million. CCRF has established a 160 bed- hospital and diagnostic laboratory in Lviv (the Regional Specialized Pediatric Hospital for Chernobyl Problems) to treat children with leukemia and other blood disorders caused by Chernobyl radiation. CCRF also founded a hospital in Kharkiv to treat children evacuated from Chernobyl. The Fund manages an exchange program for American doctors and has brought Ukrainian children to the U.S. for treatment.

Other PVO Programs: U.S. Sister Cities, the Global Jewish Assistance and Relief Network, the Girl Scout Council, the Massachusetts Hospital Association, and other PVOs have donated over 60 tons of humanitarian assistance.

Project Hope: Project Hope has provided over $20 million worth of medical supplies to Ukraine.

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

Nuclear Safety: The United States has provided $61 million dollars to Ukraine to help promote greater nuclear safety. Most of these funds have been used to improve the operational safety of nuclear power plants throughout Ukraine and to strengthen its nuclear regulatory body. In addition, U.S. aid money is funding short-term safety upgrades of the Chernobyl reactors during the remaining years of operation, as well as helping Ukraine establish an international research center outside Chernobyl.

Hospital Partnership Program: Administered by the American International Health Alliance, this USAID program develops partnerships between hospitals in the U.S. and Ukraine aimed at improving the efficiency and quality of health care.

Health Effects Study: The National Cancer Institute, together with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy, are conducting a major post-Chernobyl study on the health effects of the accident, particularly thyroid cancer and leukemia in children as well as radiation effects on Chernobyl liquidates (the workers who responded to the original accident and clean-up).

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