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China to Give Belarus $16 mln Chernobyl Aid

RIA Novosti

16:29 09/01/2013

MINSK, January 9 (RIA Novosti) – China is to donate some $16 million to Belarus to support children in areas hit by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the Belarusian government said on Wednesday.

The money is to be spent on construction of recreational facilities equipped with swimming pools for children living in the districts contaminated by the world's worst nuclear accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, located just over the border in neighboring Ukraine.

The radioactive fallout from the accident contaminated some 23 percent of Belarusian territory, an area of 45,000 kilometers populated by 2.6 million. The radiation also affected an area of around 50,000 square kilometers in Ukraine and 60,000 square kilometers in Russia.

The accident is estimated to have caused thousands of premature deaths in the contaminated areas. Greenpeace claims it could eventually kill around 100,000, while an official UN report puts the death toll at just 4,000.

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