European Union Grants Funds for Chernobyl and Combating Tuberculosis

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The European Commission has approved a Euro 20 million contribution to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to help make safe the site of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The funds from the Chernobyl Shelter Fund in the 2002 EU Budget are part of a second instalment which will total Euro 100 million by 2004. Euro 40 million of this sum was paid out in 2001. The first tranche of Euro 90.5 million had already been paid out in 1998 and 1999. The total cost of making the site secure is estimated at USD768 million.

Tuberculosis project launched.

The Commission has also announced the launch on December 20 of a new Euro 2 million project to combat tuberculosis in Ukraine. Under the 30-month "Tuberculosis Prevention and Control in Ukraine" scheme, the implementing organisations - the Royal Netherlands Tuberculosis Association (KNCV) and the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) of the Netherlands - will help the Ukraine government to combat a disease which has become a serious public health and social problem in the country. The Commission reports that there has been a 73% increase in TB notifications over the last decade, and that more than 10,000 people die from the disease every year. The scheme, centred on Kiev, aims to improve detection and treatment rates, and reduce the costs of TB control by treating people as much as possible at home rather than in hospitals.

Extra precautions recommended over money-laundering.

Meanwhile, countries have been advised to take a number of additional precautionary 'financial counter-measures' against Ukraine as a result of its continued presence as the last European country on the OECD's money-laundering black-list. …