Humanitarian Assistance

The U.S. Government agencies either donate or help transfer multiple food and medical supply cargoes gathered by U.S. private voluntary organizations. The U.S. Department of Defense donated its excess property which helped better equip some Belarusian hospitals and ambulance services. On April 23, 1996 alone a planeload of pharmaceuticals worth over $2 million arrived in Belarus to commemorate the 10th anniversary for the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion. The private voluntary organization Citihope has been a devoted provider of humanitarian relief to Belarus; Citihope’s most recent humanitarian medical shipment on May 3, 2001 was a $7 mln worth of pharmaceuticals. A similar delivery on January 10, 2000 amounted to over $4 mln.

In 1996, however, the whole humanitarian relief activity suffered a serious blow as the U.S. Embassy and CitiHope International, the major private provider and distributor of humanitarian assistance to Belarus, decided to suspend CitiHope’s operations in this country due to the violations by the Belarusian authorities of the Agreement on Facilitation of Assistance. The Belarusian government was continuously building up financial pressure on CitiHope and its Belarusian partner, Nadezhda Express, by attempting to tax the humanitarian supplies and by eventually confiscating large amounts of money from the latter’s bank account.

Citihope resumed its operation in Belarus basing its decision on the need that there is in Belarus for medical and other assistance.

USAID runs a variety of assistance programs in Belarus. Health care is one of the fields in which this U.S. Government agency has been particularly active. With the dedicated participation of its contractors in the United States, USAID assisted in the establishment of two women’s wellness centers in Belarus, one of them in Mozyr.

Founded in 1965 as The Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific, Counterpart is a private voluntary organization supporting the creation and development of strong local institutions capable of meeting local and regional needs. Counterparts’s Humanitarian Assistance Program (CHAP) is committed to building strong civil societies in emerging nations through partnerships with local organizations. These partnerships, through which CHAP distributes donated commodities, are designed to help local organizations strengthen their capabilities to meet critical humanitarian and related development needs. CHAP acquires its commodities from U.S. Department of Defense excess stocks and private sources. These commodities include patient care supplies, clinical furniture, school furniture and supplies, medical diagnostic equipment, beds, cots, and bedding, clothing and sleeping bags, appliances, shop tools and machinery, vehicles, ready-to-eat rations. Among the recipients of these commodities are orphanages, hospitals and clinics, schools, associations for the disabled, private farmers’ associations, environmental associations, military dependents, veterans groups, youth groups, other humanitarian service providers. CHAP’s activities–currently in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Viet Nam–are principally sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Contact information:

220007, Minsk, Mogilyovskaya Street, Building 5, office 308
telephone [+375] (17) 228-1914 and [+375] (17) 219-0573

July 2005 – Turov and Druya hospitals receive humanitarian assistance from the U.S. European Command.

In July 2004 the U.S. European Command donated $200,000 to continue renovation of the Gomel City Emergency Hosptal

In May 2004 the U.S. European Command awarded $95,000 to renovate the hospital in Turov, Gomel region.

On January 29, 2003 the United States signs a $190,000 for continued renovations of the Gomel Oblast Emergency Hospital.

On July 23, 2001 General Joseph Ralston, Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and U.S. Ambassador in Belarus Michael Kozak dedicated the Blood Transfusion Center at the Emergency Treatment Hospital in Gomel.

A joint project between the Gomel Regional Government and the United States European Command, it involved the complete renovation of a century-old building belonging to the Gomel Emergency Hospital.  This hospital serves as the primary emergency medical treatment facility for a city of more than 600,000 inhabitants, as well as numerous rural areas in the region still suffering the aftereffects of the Chernobyl incident.  The project began in March 2000 and was completed in July 2001. Renovation of the building included reinforcement and insulation of walls, floors and ceilings.  Exterior renovation included landscaping, installation of windows, complete electrical wiring, automated heating and plumbing installation, potable water supply, ventilation, air conditioning, and additional repairs.