By Boris Yurovitsky
Four state programmes have been completed so far, costing around $20bn. Since the catastrophe, about 20,000 residents from 470 towns and villages in the Gomel and Mogilev regions have been relocated, protecting them against radiation.
The programmes have given special attention to the provision of medical services for accident liquidators and the population from the most affected areas. The major accent has been placed on special medical surveillance, allowing early detection of illness and prompt treatment. Annually, around 1.5m people are examined free of charge, with state funds paying for spa and resort treatments and recuperation, primarily for children and teenagers from the regions most affected by the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station. All pupils from secondary educational establishments within contaminated areas are provided with free meals at their place of study for the whole academic year (unlike in Russia or Ukraine).
In the sphere of socio-economic rehabilitation, the creation of normal living conditions is key; during the post-Chernobyl period, around 5m square metres of housing have been constructed for relocated residents: over 66,000 flats and houses. In addition, 239 settlements have been built in ‘clean’ areas, boasting the necessary infrastructure and service enterprises.
At present, a programme is being realised to overcome the consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe until 2020. The fifth state programme, like its predecessors, is socially-oriented. It envisages 76 innovation projects aimed at the socio-economic development of the affected regions. These encompass the creation of contemporary manufacturing to secure employment, being self-financing and producing marketable goods. Life within those areas affected by the Chernobyl accident is to become more comfortable.