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Lelchitsy Regional Executive Committee
30 May 2014

Belarus welcomes cooperation to overcome Chernobyl consequences

VETKA, 30 May (BelTA) – Belarus welcomes any kind of cooperation in alleviating consequences of the Chernobyl disaster and is thankful to the United Nations Development Program, Belarusian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Vashchenko told media in the town of Vetka on 29 May. The Minister accompanied UNDP Administrator, UN Under Secretary General Helen Clark during her visit to Gomel Oblast, BelTA has learned.

“We welcome any cooperation that benefits people and are ready to work with international organizations in this direction,” said the Minister. There is no doubt that the visit of the high-ranking official to Belarus will contribute to the development of contacts and the implementation of joint measures to deal with consequences of the Chernobyl disaster, stressed Vladimir Vashchenko.

Over the last few years the situation in Chernobyl-affected areas has undergone considerable changes. Life is getting back to normal over there. The country’s leadership supports proposals of the population, the accelerated development of the regions is in progress. “People don’t want to leave this place, they want to build their lives here, however, they would love to have decent social conditions, the ability to grow culturally and spiritually,” noted the Emergencies Minister.

He said that on 29 May Helen Clark could talk to common people, who live in affected territories. “It seems to me that for her the openness of the conversation, the friendly atmosphere, the concreteness of the voiced proposals were convincing arguments in favor of continuing the work to support the population,” stressed Vladimir Vashchenko. It is likely that the efforts will focus on healthcare and other social branches. At the same time the development of manufacturing infrastructure, the creation of jobs will be discussed as well as ways to improve employment rates of the local population, the implementation of projects to raise living standards in these territories.