IAEA TACC Meeting – Agenda Item 3 – Technical Cooperation – Strengthening Radiation Therapy and Medical Imaging in Ukraine
U.S. Statement as Delivered by Counselor for Nuclear Affairs Lucy M. Chang
Vienna, Austria, November 14, 2022
The United States warmly welcomes and strongly supports the proposed new Technical Cooperation project on “Strengthening Radiation Therapy and Medical Imaging in Ukraine,” which aims to support urgent cancer care needs. As stated in GOV/2022/60, this project will help increase Ukraine’s capacity to diagnose, manage, and treat cancer patients and support the operational needs of medical facilities under increased pressure. We stand ready to support relevant activities under this off-cycle, multi-year project with the $10 million in extrabudgetary resources pledged for Ukraine by U.S. Secretary of Energy Granholm at the Rays of Hope Scientific Forum to increase access to cancer care and help modernize medical infrastructure.
The United States commends the IAEA’s efforts to respond to the critical needs of Member States, as this proposal demonstrates, and remains a steadfast supporter of the Rays of Hope initiative. Nuclear science and technology are at the heart of diagnosing and treating cancer. We recognize that life-saving imaging and screening technologies are desperately needed in many countries.
Since the inception of the Program of Action for Cancer Therapy in 2004, the United States has contributed nearly $60 million to IAEA cancer care activities. This funding supports the procurement of cancer care equipment, training for radiation therapy and diagnostic imaging equipment, strengthening regional centers, and the production of radioisotopes for nuclear medicine. This year, the United States has
already approved the allocation of over $18 million for critically important Rays of Hope activities in countries with little or no existing capacity in this area. We greatly appreciate the work of the IAEA to harmonize approaches, in consultation with the WHO and other partners, to help Member States develop their financial proposals to mobilize resources for establishing and expanding radiation medicine infrastructure for comprehensive cancer control with a focus on low and middle-income countries.
We encourage Board Members to approve the inclusion of this newly proposed TC project on strengthening radiotherapy and medical imaging in Ukraine in the Agency’s TC program for 2022-2023 and to approve the use of up to €19.69 million in footnote-a/funding as resources become available. We also encourage others in a position to do so to contribute to this project in support of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people and to life-saving projects in other countries under the Rays of Hope initiative.
Thank you, Chair.