Minister Dermot Ahern announces further Irish funding for Chernobyl Shelter Fund
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern T.D., today announced continued Irish funding for the Chernobyl Shelter Fund (CSF). The CSF is administered and managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for the purpose of helping Ukraine transform the existing Chernobyl shelter over the destroyed nuclear reactor into a stable and environmentally safe system.
Speaking earlier today the Minister said, “The accident in Chernobyl on 26 April 1986 is an event which has been seared into the collective memory of all of Europe.
The visible evidence of the silent devastation, caused by the accident, remains with us to this day. We, in Ireland, thanks to the tireless and selfless efforts of Adi Roche amongst others, are of course particularly aware of the plight of those children born since this terrible disaster. The Chernobyl Shelter Fund provides a valuable international contribution to strengthening and supplementing the protective shell encasing the Chernobyl reactor. I am delighted to announce the continuation of our funding for the Chernobyl Shelter Fund in the sum of €2,565,000 over the period 2004-2006. This is an additional, voluntary contribution over and above our contribution through the European Union.”
The pledge was announced at a special conference at the EBRD HQ in London by the Ambassador of Ireland, H.E. Dáithi Ó Ceallaigh.
13 May 2005
Note for editors:
The nuclear reactor destroyed in the accident at Chernobyl on 26 April 1986 was enclosed in a shelter which was hastily built by the former Soviet authorities after the accident. Through age and deterioration it had become unstable and had been found in need of urgent repair. In 1997, the G-7 and the European Commission endorsed the setting up of a multilateral funding mechanism to assist Ukraine in transforming the existing shelter into a safe and environmentally stable system, and pledged an initial US$300 million to the Chernobyl Shelter Fund. The project involves the stabilisation of the existing sarcophagus and the construction of a cover for the reactor.
At a 1997 Pledging Conference in New York, Ireland committed to a contribution of US$2.9m over a period of three years. A further Pledging Conference was held in Berlin in 2000. Ireland committed to continuing funding with a second contribution of $2.9m over the period 2001-2003. Today's announcement confirms Ireland's funding for the period 2004-2006. Today's pledge, denominated this time in euros, represents an increased Irish contribution. The Fund is administered and managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), on which Ireland is represented on the Board of Governors by the Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen T.D. and on the Board of Directors by Mr Desmond O'Malley.
Further details on the fund can be viewed on the EBRD's website at