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IAEA and IsDB United in Support of Countries to Fight Cancer


Radiation medicine is a vital component of cancer control. (Photo: P. Pavlicek / IAEA)

The IAEA and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) are working together to help countries scale up their cancer care capacities in radiotherapy. As the global cancer burden continues to increase, the IAEA and multi-lateral development banks, like the IsDB, are united in working together to address this challenge.

Experts from both the Bank and the Agency met last week to discuss cancer-related projects in the IsDB pipeline, which could lead to around 500 million USD for expanded access to cancer care. The IsDB provides countries with financial capital, and the IAEA leverages its six decades of technical expertise to introduce or scale up radiation medicine to treat and diagnose cancer.

“As we celebrate a decade of working together, we are looking to strengthen our collaboration for greater impact,” said Hua Liu, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation, in his opening remarks. “When we strengthen our partnership, countries of common interest benefit from increased resources to build national cancer care capacity, bringing us one step closer to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG 3).” The goal of SDG 3 is to ensure good health and well-being for all at all ages.

The two partners also affirmed their cooperation under the IAEA’s Rays of Hope initiative to address the global inequity in access to cancer care. The initiative, launched in 2022, helps low- and middle-income countries establish and improve access to radiation-based medical technologies, such as diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine and radiotherapy services. Rays of Hope focuses on prioritizing a limited number of high-impact, cost-effective and sustainable interventions in line with national needs and commitment.

IAEA and IsDB participants discussed the leading role of the government in implementing large scale projects for cancer care. National commitment is important to ensure that the project has the desired impact.

When a country works with both the IAEA and the IsDB, it can benefit from complementary technical and financial assistance. “The IsDB would like to express its commitment to foster effective partnerships under Rays of Hope. With the country in the lead, the IAEA and the IsDB are looking to continue to support common member countries under this initiative,” said Amer Bukvic, IsDB Acting Director General for Global Practices and Partnerships.

The two organizations will continue to work together as the Rays of Hope initiative grows, Liu said. “We are committed to strengthening our collaboration.”


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