Geneva, New York (UNDP) – Hundreds of thousands of people who lived and worked around the site of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident continue to suffer on the disaster’s 25th anniversary, commemorated on 26 April by Maria Sharapova, Russian tennis star and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador.The disaster at Chernobyl, in the former Soviet republic of Ukraine, was the worst ever nuclear power plant accident, releasing radioactive pollution into the atmosphere over much of Western Russia and Europe, and uprooting more than 200,000 people from the immediate surroundings of the plant.
“While the anniversary is filled with sadness, we also acknowledge that this is a time for hope,” said Sharapova in a global video message released today. “We are moving forward in building a better future for all those whose lives have been changed by this tragedy,” said Sharapova, born in 1987, and whose family was displaced from Gomel, one of the affected areas in Belarus.
UN on the Water crises
It is estimated that 1 billion people lack access to a sufficient water supply, defined as a source likely to provide 20 litres per person per day at a distance no greater than 1,000 meters.