Finland supports IAEA efforts to advance coronavirus testing worldwide

Finland supports IAEA efforts to advance coronavirus testing worldwide

With support from Finland, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will provide testing equipment needed in detecting the coronavirus to the IAEA member states that have requested support. The fight against the coronavirus pandemic requires extensive testing worldwide. Support from the IAEA is helping to increase testing capacity in the countries most in need.

The IAEA has already provided testing equipment to dozens of countries, and the deliveries are continuing at a rapid pace. With IAEA support, laboratories around the world can detect the coronavirus using a fast and accurate testing method based on nuclear technology. This emergency relief is part of the IAEA’s response to the request made by 120 member states for support in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finland is supporting this work with EUR 200,000 in voluntary funding.

“The IAEA has invested significantly in developing countries in recent years, and it is now able to utilise its expertise and networks to help combat the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic affects every human being on Earth. Finland supports the IAEA’s important initiative to increase testing capacity, especially in countries that do not currently have the technical ability or the necessary resources,” says Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto.

Dozens of laboratories in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean will receive diagnostic and laboratory equipment that can be used to enhance their national COVID-19 testing.

The equipment and training provided by the IAEA will help countries use what is known as real-time RT-PCR technology. This is the most sensitive method currently available for the detection of the coronavirus.

The support is part of the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme, which supports the peaceful utilisation of nuclear technology in areas such as healthcare and agriculture. In cooperation with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the IAEA has previously supported countries in the fight against the Ebola and Zika virus epidemics. Finland is a long-term supporter of the technical cooperation programme.

Inquiries: Leena Pylvänäinen, Head of Unit for Arms Control, tel. +358 50 465 0934.

The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format [email protected]