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EU announces new health and development program for Belarus

July 26, 2013, 7:01 UTC+3

"Providing increased support to the citizens of Belarus is vital for the EU’s engagement with Belarusian society," Stefan Fule said

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BRUSSELS, July 26 (Itar-Tass) - The European Commission has adopted a new program for Belarus which will promote healthy lifestyle, as well as local and regional development.

The program consists of two parts intended for the benefit of the population. The first will focus on improving healthcare and wellbeing of Belarusians. It will encourage the modernization of healthcare system, adaptation of laboratories for testing medications in accordance with international standards, prevention of contagious diseases and promotion of healthy lifestyle, the EC said in a statement on Thursday, July 25.

 The second part of the program intends to promote regional development and better living conditions of communities in Grodno and Minsk regions through capacity building activities (such as providing expertise and training) and support for citizens’ initiatives (such as facilitating partnerships among local authorities and civil society, providing training or funding opportunities for local community projects).

“Providing increased support to the citizens of Belarus is vital for the EU’s engagement with Belarusian society. This new assistance will contribute to making a difference for Belarusian people and contribute to improving their quality of life. By focusing on society, we also wish to promote a better understanding of the European Union and its core values,” Stefan Fule, Commissioner of Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, said.

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