Belgium gives extra funding to prevent nuclear proliferation
Belgium has allocated €1,637,000 this year to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the prevention of nuclear proliferation and to promote nuclear cooperation in the fields of medicine, scientific research and farming.
In addition to the mandatory contribution to the ordinary budget, Belgium supports the IAEA annually through voluntary contributions, Foreign Affairs Minister Hadja Lahbib stated in a press release on Monday.
"Through this important contribution, Belgium supports in a very tangible way the activities of the IAEA, an international organisation under the auspices of the United Nations which assists its member states in the application of technology nuclear power and guarantees its peaceful use," she said.
"Belgium is a leading player in this field thanks to its recognised know-how in scientific research and nuclear medicine," Lahbib added.
Belgium is allocating €200,000 to developing the COMPUCEA system which allows inspectors to analyse uranium samples on site. This type of equipment is useful in countries where it is difficult to send samples to laboratories for analysis, such as Iran or North Korea.
Additionally, several IAEA activities benefit from Belgian funding. The Technical Cooperation Fund, for example, has received €719,493. This fund is the main financial instrument for improving access to nuclear technology in sectors such as health, food, agriculture, environment and energy.
Belgium also contributed €417,500 to the 'Rays of Hope' initiative, which makes the fight against cancer possible in countries with little or no access to radiotherapy services. Thanks to 'Rays of Hope', more people with treatable cancers will have access to life-saving care.
€250,000 has been allocated to fundamental scientific research aimed at increasing the resilience of banana and coffee plantations in the face of climate change and diseases, and Belgium is also contributing €50,000 to the modernisation of the greenhouses of the IAEA laboratory complex, which provides valuable scientific research.
Doel nuclear power plant in Doel, Belgium © BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM