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United States Supports IAEA Cancer Activities with US $5 Million Contribution

Vienna, Austria

The IAEA supports countries in establishing radiotherapy services and in integrating these into comprehensive national cancer control plans.(Photo: IAEA) 

The United States announced today it will provide US $5 million to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for activities in support of cancer care in low- and middle-income countries, many of which lack adequate equipment and trained personnel to tackle a growing cancer burden.

“We are grateful to the government of the United States for this generous and most welcome contribution,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said. “Many countries count on the IAEA’s expertise and ability to deliver concrete assistance that directly impacts the lives of cancer patients. These funds will go where they are needed the most.”

Announced during an IAEA event to raise funds for cancer control projects, the U.S. contribution will support training and education, capacity building, procurement of equipment, and the promotion of innovative technologies. It includes US $500 000 for paediatric cancer care in developing countries. The Principality of Monaco also announced a €40 000 contribution to the IAEA Women’s Cancer Partnership Initiative at the event.

“The United States supports the IAEA’s cancer activities because we believe in the Agency’s unique technical capabilities to address low- and middle-income countries’ pressing needs,” said U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Louis L. Bono.

More than 50 per cent of cancer patients require radiotherapy and the treatment is frequently used to tackle the most common types, such as breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung cancer. Access to radiotherapy, however, is inadequate and unevenly distributed across the world.

“There are many low and middle-income countries that still do not have a single radiotherapy machine,” Director General Grossi said. “We have to do more to bridge this gap.”

The IAEA supports countries in establishing radiotherapy services and in integrating these into comprehensive national cancer control plans. The Agency offers training for nuclear and radiation medicine personnel, technical advisory services, and assists in the financing and procurement of equipment.  In the last decade, the IAEA has dedicated more than €73 million to comprehensive cancer management and radiation oncology activities.

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, cancer cases are expected to increase from 19.3 million in 2020 to over 24 million a year by 2030, and 13 million people will die annually.  Low- and middle-income countries are estimated to account for 70 per cent of all cancer deaths.

“It is our joint responsibility to invest in the future and to ensure that every person, no matter where they live, has a fair chance in their fight against cancer,” Grossi said. “With strong commitment from the global community and national governments, such as this important contribution from the United States, we can act decisively.”

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