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Success Stories in Technical Cooperation

26 November 2010
© IAEAMali: Low agricultural yields and harvest losses due to soil degradation are a significant problem in Mali. An IAEA technical cooperation project used nuclear-based plant breeding and water management techniques to address this problem. It introduced a sorghum variety with high water and nitrogen-fixing properties, as well as high-yielding cowpeas as a second crop. The project also helped identify the best water management practices for local conditions. As a result, yields have increased from 25-35% in farmer's fields; rotating between sorghum and cow pea served as low cost alternative to nitrogen fertilization while also enriching the local diet. This resulted in a positive impact on food security and malnutrition. (Photo Credit: Ray Witlin/World Bank Group)Bangladesh:  After each rice harvest, up to 90% of the arable land stays idle for 6 to 7 months per year because lack of freshwater and high soil salinity make them unusable for planting other crops. Through an IAEA technical cooperation project  plant breeders in Bangladesh learned new techniques to estimate the soil water content, and to develop salt tolerant varieties of mustard, mung bean, sesame, chickpea and groundnut. As a result, these cash crops are now being grown at pilot sites after the rice harvest, and help farmers generate much-needed income during the off season. (Photo Credit: Scott Wallace/World Bank Group)Mongolia: Adverse climatic conditions cause high death rates in livestock, a sector employing 30% of Mongolians. An IAEA technical cooperation project helped increase the productivity of cattle, camels and yaks by improving the quality and quantity of feed and through better artificial insemination techniques. This has improved the quality of livestock resulting in more jobs and food security in the country. (Photo Credit: Eskinder Debebe/UN Photo)Tajikistan: Degraded land is the greatest hindrance to agricultural productivity in Tajikistan, and contributes to poverty and hunger. Through expert advice and the assessment of soil erosion by the IAEA, annual soil erosion is now considerably reduced and soil and water conservation techniques have been successfully implemented. (Photo Credit: Martine Perret/UN Photo)Mexico: Opuntia cacti generate $100 million a year in Mexico and are of great economic, environmental and cultural importance to the country. An outbreak of the cactus moth threatened this plant. Coordinated efforts of the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture, the United States department of Agriculture and the Joint FAO/ IAEA Division, eradicated the pest that was killing the cactus in 2009. This was done through the Sterile Insect Technique, the systematic release of sterilized insects over target areas, in order to prevent the reproduction and therefore the spread of the moth. (Photo Credit: iStockPhoto)Guatemala is a country with fertile soils and a favourable climate. But the presence of fruit flies hindered its exports of fruits and vegetables to high quality international markets. An IAEA technical cooperation project reduced the damage of fruit flies to fruits and vegetables in Guatemala through the use of the Sterile Insect Technique, an environmentally friendly technique through which radiation sterilized male flies are released into the atmosphere to compete with fertile male flies, resulting in reduced reproduction. This technique now helps Guatemala generate over US$2 million per year from its exports. (Photo Credit: Dean Calma/IAEA)Bosnia and Herzegovina: Wastes, with high level of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) due to past and present industrial activities, are a problem in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Through fellowships in radioanalytical sampling techniques and provision of essentail equipment, the IAEA helped the country to better review the condition of these wastes. These reviews pinpointed sources and areas of NORM contamination.  An analysis report was also prepared that the government can use as basis for strengthening radiation monitoring. Consumer protection has been enhanced, as a result of the project since the improved laboratories can now support expanded radiological monitoring activities. (Photo Credit: Dean Calma/IAEA) 
			Montenegro: Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are toxic compounds that can travel vast distances and pose a threat to the environment and to human health. Montenegro has committed to manage POPs in accordance with best international practice but lacked a well-equipped centre able to carry out the analysis and recommend corrective actions. With the support of the IAEA, the Centre for Ecotoxicological research has been upgraded to become a fully functional and up-to-date in the latest analytical techniques. As a result, Montenegro is more able to comply with its international obligations and has established a regional reference centre for analyzing environmenta pollutants. (Photo Credit: iStockPhoto)Gabon: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder. It cannot be cured, but early diagnosis is vital for life-extending treatment and care. About 60% of children born with SCD in Gabon die early due to infections. An IAEA technical cooperation project supported the establishment of a screening programme using nuclear techniques. IAEA support through the project consisted of expert missions, fellowships and scientific visits. To date, 2471 newborns have been screened, and the project is helping to reduce health care costs in the country. (Photo Credit: Eric Miller/World Bank Group)Asia and the Pacific: Osteoporosis is a bone disease and a major health problem for the elderly. Although it cannot be cured, its progression can be slowed.  Nuclear techniques can be used to assess the progress of the disease and determine the optimal content in the indigenous diet for disease prevention. Under the technical cooperation project, participating Member States received training on nuclear techniques to measure calcium bioavailbility and bone mass density from foods. The project has contributed to strengthening regional initiatives to develop food based strategies to prevent osteoporosis and to increase access to diagnostic facilities. (Photo Credit: Angela Leuker/IAEA)El Salvador: Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer among women worldwide, with about 83% occurring in developing countries. 1200 new cervical cancer cases were reported each year in El Salvador, but the country had no hospital equipped for the treatment of the disease. Since 1997, the IAEA has been working with El Salvador to treat this debilitating disease. This cooperation helped El Salvador establish a radiotherapy programme and to build medical know-how and capacity. Today, the Instituto del Cancer de El Salvador is the first and only facility in the country capable of treating cervical cancer. Where once there was no option for a cure, thousands of women now undergo life-saving treatment. (Photo Credit: Nancy Falcon-Castro for IAEA)Nigeria: Nigeria's efforts to build a strong national foundation for basic radiation science has been hampered by the acute shortage of radiation protection staff. A sustainable training programme that would ensure the regular availability of qualified specialists was urgently needed. An IAEA technical cooperation project provided expert support in education, training and nuclear knowledge management. The project also provided needed advise for setting up higher education curriculum for radiation protection in a national centre, and equipment for training was also delivered. As a result, radiation protection and safety of workers, the general public and the environment are now much improved. (Photo Credit: IAEA)Zambia: Water shortage and pollution threaten the availability and quality of groundwater in Lusaka, Zambia. Working with the Ministry of Energy and Water Development, the IAEA helped to identify potential pollution sources and assess groundwater pollution. The Agency also sponsored eight fellowships and one scientific visit to build national capacity in the area of groundwater hydrology. These have enabled the government to move closer towards assuring safe drinking water for the Zambian population. (Photo Credit: Eric Miller/World Bank)Asia and the Pacific: Water resource contamination is a shared problem among the Member States of the Regional Cooperative Agreement for Asia and the Pacific (RCA).  Industrial, urban and animal waste pollute fresh surface waters, which then lead to contamination. The IAEA launched a project to improve freshwater resource management in the region using isotope techniques. Through the training provided by the IAEA, Member States have developed the capability to assess water resources, and to formulate management policies for the protection of drinking water resources. (Photo Credit: R.Quevenco/IAEA)Georgia: The Borjomi area in Central Georgia is famous for its mineral water springs and the purity of its water. The opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline in 2005 raised the question as to whether a potential leakage could affect the spring and the drinking water in the area. An IAEA technical cooperation project carried out water monitoring campaigns, and provided expert assistance, fellowship training and laboratory equipment.  Finding vulnerabilities in the recharge area for Borjomi's drinking water, recommendations were made to improve the protection of the oil pipeline, as well as for a contamination alarm system. This way, contamination can be prevented and the people in Borjomi can continue enjoying their pure drinking water. (Photo Credit: R.Quevenco/IAEA)To improve electricity supply, many countries in the Middle East and North Africa are seeking ways to inter-connect their electric grids, so the IAEA implemented a project to conduct comparative studies of the energy options within the region.  The first phase called for implementing an organizational structure for the participating countries - Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. This was followed by training workshops to build local expertise and, finally, the preparation of energy policies for each participating country. As a result, there is now a better understanding of the environmental and human health impacts of different regional energy scenarios.  (Photo Credit: Gennadiy Ratushenko/World Bank Group)Africa:  A significant number of radiation incidents have occurred in Africa that have seriously injured individuals and communities. African countries clearly needed to establish or upgrade national systems for preparedness and response to nuclear and radiological emergencies. Through an IAEA technical cooperation project, 14 African Member States were able to develop a coordinated national system to prepare and respond to radiological  emergencies consistent with with IAEA and other international standards. The project provided expert assistance, training courses and workshops and essential equipment. As a result, emergency response arrangements are in place in all participating countries. (Photo Credit: R. Quevenco/IAEA)Latin America and the Caribbean: Legislation, regulation and guidance for the control of radiation sources vary within the Latin America and the Caribbean region. A number of countries did not have appropriate radiation safety legislation. With the assistance of the IAEA, 19 Member States in the region have received expertise, training and equipment. As a result, capacities to support national regulatory infrastructure have been strengthened in all participating countries. (Photo Credit: D. Calma/IAEA)© IAEA

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