Today in Ukraine, 6,000 children are born every year with genetic heart defects. More than 3,000 will die for lack of medical attention.
Children born since 1986 are affected by a 200 percent increase in birth defects and a 250 percent increase in congenital birth deformities.
85 percent of Belarusian children are deemed to be Chernobyl victims: they carry “genetic markers” that could affect their health at any time and can be passed on to the next generation.
UNICEF found increases in children’s disease rates, including 38 percent increase in malignant tumours, 43 percent in blood circulatory illnesses and 63 percent in disorders of the bone, muscle and connective tissue system.
Each child living in an institution, such as an orphanage or mental asylum, is allocated just €1 per day to live.
In 2004 nearly 26 percent of children under 17 lived below the poverty line.
More than one million children continue to live in contaminated zones.
Seven million people living in the affected areas received the highest known exposure to radiation in the history of the atomic age.
Belarusian doctors have identified increases in a number of cancers, including: a 200 percent increase in breast cancer, a 100 percent increase in the incidence of cancer and leukemia, and a 2,400 percent increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer.
The mortality rates among the population already outstrip their birth rates.
99 percent of the land of Belarus has been contaminated to varying degrees above internationally accepted levels.
2,000 towns and villages were evacuated, and more than 400,000 people have been relocated from their homes since 1986. Decades later, another 70,000 are still waiting to evacuate.