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OPEC Funds Boost PACT Fight Against Cancer

Cancer Treatment

Upgrading of Kandy´s General´s cancer treatment facilities began in 1998 with project assistance from the IAEA´s Technical Co-operation Programme. (Kandy General Hospital, Sri Lanka). (Photo: P. Pavlicek/IAEA)

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The Governing Board of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has approved a grant of US $500,000 to support the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT), an IAEA-backed global initiative to combat cancer in the developing world.

PACT responds to the needs of developing countries by addressing the clinical, financial, legal, regulatory, technical and human resources needed to establish, improve, or expand radiotherapy treatment programmes in the context of sound national cancer control programmes. Partners include the World Health Organization, the International Union Against Cancer, among other organizations and health centres.

The $500,000 grant will go to help establish pilot studies and conduct cancer control needs assessments in Tanzania, Nicaragua and Albania. The initiative also aims at expanding activities to provide appropriate cancer therapy to other developing countries and implement relevant capacity-building and institution-strengthening measures.

Earlier this week PACT also received strong support from all IAEA Board members as a high priority programme initiative. Several Member States made new pledges of additional contributions to PACT. The US delegation announced a new contribution of $200,000 on behalf of US National Cancer Institute in addition to recently announced contribution of $500,000 from the State Department.

Since its inception, OFID has approved a total of US$360 million in grant support, which includes funding for technical assistance, research studies and humanitarian aid. Other activities covered are the special grant accounts for HIV/AIDS prevention and care operations, as well as food aid to combat the hunger crisis in Africa.

The Fund previously has provided grants to the IAEA in support of programmes. See Story Resources for more information.