IAEA welcomes European contribution for African nuclear security
Africa’s nuclear and radiological safety will be reinforced thanks to a €7 million contribution form the European Union (EU) to the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Vienna-based body said today.
The donation is the largest ever made to the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Fund, established to bolster nuclear security globally in the wake of the September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.
“Nuclear science and technology offers great benefits but must be guarded against misuse,” IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said, thanking the EU for its contribution which “allows the Agency to continue to work with its African Member States to improve nuclear security in the region and beyond.”
The recently received funding will support nuclear activities in 35 countries, including 27 in Africa, helping to upgrade the physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities, secure vulnerable radioactive sources and combat illicit trafficking in nuclear and radioactive materials.
The IAEA will work with Ghana, South Africa, Morocco and Nigeria, among other countries, to secure nuclear and radioactive materials and sites at risk of sabotage. South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia and others will receive IAEA assistance in boosting their capabilities to detect and respond to illicit trafficking. Azerbaijan, Cape Verde, Comoros, Croatia, Swaziland, and the Former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia are among the countries to which the agency will provide support to strengthen national legislation and regulatory infrastructures related to nuclear and radioactive material.
The latest contribution brings the total received to $53 million, but Mr. ElBaradei noted that “the IAEA’s nuclear security programme remained 90 per cent funded through unpredictable and heavily conditioned voluntary contributions.”