During 2010, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) established the Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI) to raise extra-budgetary funds for Agency activities that promote the peaceful uses of nuclear technology. For its part, the United States announced a $50 million five-year pledge to the PUI and challenged other donors to contribute an additional $50 million.
The PUI supports implementation of Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which requires NPT States Parties that are "in a position to do so" to "cooperate in contributing alone or together with other States or international organizations to the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes."
U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit
For the Summit on August 4-6, 2014, the United States allocated more than $1.5 million of its PUI contributions to IAEA projects that aim to expand radiotherapy and radiopharmacy capacities in Africa to fight cancer. With these contributions, the United States has now provided a total of almost $3 million under the PUI to IAEA projects that advance cancer control efforts worldwide. Almost 80 percent of this total - over $2.3 million - has gone towards projects in Africa.
Impact Since 2010, the PUI has provided the IAEA with additional flexibility and resources for high priority IAEA Member State projects, including responding to unforeseen challenges. These projects support human health, water resource management, food security, protection of the environment, and nuclear power infrastructure development. They are administered by the IAEA Departments of Nuclear Energy (NE), Nuclear Sciences and Applications (NA), and Technical Cooperation (TC).
The list of countries in Africa that have benefited from the PUI has grown. U.S. support to the PUI has benefited almost 40 countries in the Africa region. Examples of IAEA peaceful uses activities in Africa supported by U.S. PUI funds include:
Advancing Human Health: The PUI has supported the advancement of education and training in nuclear medicine and the strengthening of national capacities to detect and treat cancer.
Supporting Water and Soil Management: The PUI has funded efforts to enhance crop nutrition and to improve soil and water management and the transfer of technology for irrigated systems to increase food production and income generation. For example, PUI funding has supported the design of a large-scale water management project to respond to sustained drought and widespread starvation and malnutrition in Africa's Sahel region.
Ensuring Food Security: The PUI has helped to fund expanded veterinary laboratory capacities in Africa to improve the rapid detection of transboundary animal diseases. PUI funds have worked to improve livestock production and productivity. The PUI has also supported the development of a sustainable zone free of the tsetse fly in the Niayes region of Senegal to relieve the burden of trypanosomosis and increase food and agricultural productivity.
Protecting the Environment: The PUI has supported IAEA efforts in Africa to strengthen the management of radioactive waste, control radiation sources, upgrade radiation protection infrastructures, respond to nuclear and radiological emergencies, and promote sustainable uranium mining practices.
Developing Nuclear Power Infrastructure: The PUI has funded IAEA activities that aim to enhance technical and management capacity in states considering nuclear power and that provide legislative assistance to those states.
Though much has been achieved with the help of the PUI, there are always more needs to be met.
The PUI allows donors to address real needs in countries around the world, while simultaneously complementing their international assistance priorities and advancing the goals of the NPT. The United States encourages donor states to explore with the IAEA Secretariat various projects to which they could contribute through the PUI, and to look for opportunities to partner with other states on PUI-supported projects. In addition, the United States encourages Member States in Africa to promote support for the PUI by highlighting for others the impact of the PUI in advancing national goals.
For more information about the PUI, please visit the IAEA's website at: www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/pui/.