An explosion occurs at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
An explosion in reactor 4 at Chernobyl nuclear power plant results in massive radioactive contamination in the USSR and neighbouring countries, becoming the major technological catastrophe in the history of humanity.
An explosion occurs at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
Alliance of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies of the USSR (Alliance) creates a Chernobyl Commission to coordinate involvement in the assistance to the populations in the affected areas.
IAEA’s General Conference.
IAEA General Conference adopts Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and Convention on Assistance in the Case of Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency.
The 25th International Conference of the Red Cross adopts Resolution XXI “Disaster Relief in Case of Technological and Other Disasters” calling on governments to cooperate in such cases and to use the capacity of National Societies.
The Soviet Government manages operations.
1986-1990. Soviet government manages rescue and relief operation, evacuation from affected areas and later resettlement programme.
1986-1990. Alliance assists Soviet authorities in evacuation and resettlement; basic relief assistance (funds, clean food) is supplied to the affected areas.
WHO sets up REMPAN.
WHO sets up REMPAN.
The Soviet authorities accept the first international humanitarian assistance since 1921.
Armenian earthquake in Spitak. Soviet authorities accept international humanitarian assistance for first time since 1921.
League launches one of its biggest relief and reconstruction programmes in Armenia, the first of its kind in the USSR.
WHO sends a team of experts to the USSR.
WHO sends a team of experts to the USSR to assess the situation in Chernobyl-affected areas.
USSR requests IAEA to organize an international assessment.
USSR requests IAEA to organize international assessment of the consequences of the Chernobyl accident and the protective measures taken.
7th General Assembly of the League adopts Strategic Work Plan for the Nineties.
Alliance calls for a League initial-needs assessment mission in the most affected areas in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.
League assessment mission visits the affected areas in the three countries.
International Chernobyl Project is established.
International Chernobyl Project (CEC, FAO, ILO, UNSCEAR, WHO, WMO) formally established to assess the quality of the response so far.
League assessment mission report suggests focusing on providing accurate information to affected people, counselling to help alleviate psychological problems, providing radiation monitoring equipment, encouraging cooperation between scientists, supplying medical equipment.
IAC agrees on a work plan for 1990-91.
IAC agrees on the its work plan for 1990-1991.
Alliance decides to appeal to the League “for help in mobilizing the international assistance to supplement the Alliance’s efforts”.
League launches its first Appeal on CHARP for 4,900,000 Swiss francs. The appeal’s 2-year plan of action includes providing accurate information on the effects of radioactive contamination on health; strengthening the health education programme for the population in contaminated areas; exchanging of experience and information on coping with the consequences of nuclear and other technological disasters; upgrading health and social institutions involved in treating and rehabilitating the affected population.
Sasakawa Health Cooperation Foundation sets up a medical assistance programme.
Sasakawa Health Cooperation Foundation (Japan) sets up a 33 million US dollar programme providing medical assistance in the affected areas (medical equipment, medicines, reagents for tests, vehicles with diagnostic and radiometric devices, expertise of Japanese physicians, training of medical staff in Japan).
Alliance Special Coordination Board for Chernobyl is established.
League delegation opens in Kiev.
350 ALNOR dosimeters received and distributed among Red Cross staff and trained volunteers.
League review of the technical, scientific, medical and organizational issues results in producing a detailed CHARP implementation plan. First workshop for Red Cross staff and volunteers on using dosimeters held in Kiev.
Monitoring of radiation levels in the environment using the received dosimeters starts. Radiation monitoring points managed by local Red Cross staff and volunteers are created in large settlements.
IAC Final Report confirms generally low levels of environmental contamination.
IAC Report confirms generally low levels of environmental contamination, stating that no health disorders could at that stage be attributed directly to radiation; confirms high level of anxiety- and stress-related disorders; evokes a possibility of increased thyroid gland pathologies in the future.
CHECIR is established.
Chernobyl Centre for International Research focusing on epidemiological surveillance and biological dosimetry opens following an agreement between the USSR and IAEA.
Alliance and the League secretariat sign an agreement on cooperation for the CHARP.
June-July 1991. IFRC Technical League delegate arrives in Kiev. 30 LB200 Becquerel food monitors (from Germany) are received and distributed to the Ukrainian, Belarus and Russian Red Cross societies. Food monitoring starts.
League changes its name to International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Gorbachev resigns as the President of the Soviet Union.
Gorbachev resigns as President of the Soviet Union. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union the CIS is founded.
MDL teams (24 people) formed and trained by the German Red Cross in Hamburg, Germany. 6 MDL vehicles (Mercedes 410), equipped with whole body gamma-ray monitors, blood and urine analysers, desktop and laptop computers, and printers, are received and deployed in Briansk and Kursk (Russia), Gomel and Mogilev (Belarus), Rovno and Zhitomir (Ukraine).
IPHECA is launched by WHO.
International Programme on the Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident is launched by WHO: pilot projects on thyroid gland, haematology, brain damage in utero, oral health and epidemiological registry.
Health services in Ukraine, Belarus and Russian Federation are disorganized.
Economic crisis and severe disorganization of health services in Ukraine, Belarus and Russian Federation.
MDLs start screening and health check-ups in 6 affected oblasts.
Alliance of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies of the USSR is dissolved.
Inter-Republican Coordination Committee (later ICCC) of Russian, Ukrainian and Belarus Red Cross Societies takes up the coordinating role for CHARP. The three National Societies agree to continue CHARP as a “single entity”.
July-December 1992. Refresher technical training for MDL teams in using the medical equipment.
IFRC delegation formally opens in Kiev.
IFRC launches its second appeal for CHARP for 880,000 Swiss francs.
Agreement on coordination of Chernobyl health-related programmes
Governments of Belarus, Russian Federation and Ukraine sign an agreement with the UN on coordination of Chernobyl health-related programmes, identifying priorities until 2000.
Cases of thyroid gland cancer among young children in Belarus are reported.
The first cases of radiation-induced thyroid gland cancers among young children are reported in Belarus.
ICCC is created to coordinate CHARP strategy and activities. It includes chairpersons of the Russian, Ukrainian and Belarus Red Cross societies and the head of the IFRC delegation.
One MDL is sent to Chelyabinsk region to assist in radiological monitoring of areas contaminated as a result of an accident at the Mayak plant (Techa River). After one month’s work no major anomalies are detected; MDL is redeployed for CHARP.
MDLs are equipped with ALOKA 250 ultrasound scanners (from Japan), which allow diagnosis of thyroid gland pathologies at the early stages.
First CHARP Evaluation analyses the status and results of the programme in preparation for 1st International Red Cross and Red Crescent Symposium on CHARP in Kiev. Evaluation points out a number of technical and organizational difficulties in programme implementation and recommends handing over the programme to National Societies within the next two years.
Sasakawa Foundation continues conducting environmental monitoring.
Sasakawa Foundation continues conducting environmental monitoring, but with reduced number of MDLs.
1st International Red Cross and Red Crescent Symposium on CHARP in Kiev recommends i.a. starting a PSP. First presentations of the work carried out by the MDL teams. Monitoring of radiation levels in the environment is stopped; ALNOR dosimeters are returned and stored at each National Society HQ. Full body scans and food monitoring continues.
WHO initiates an international project on thyroid gland pathologies.
WHO Regional Office for Europe initiates an international project on thyroid gland pathologies (continued until September 2000).
First comprehensive report on CHARP, documenting CHARP experience 1990-1994, is produced, based on the outcomes of the first CHARP Symposium.
First cases of thyroid gland cancer detected by CHARP MDLs.
26th International Conference of the Red Cross adopts Resolution 4 “Principles and action in international humanitarian assistance and protection” calling upon states to take note of the guidelines on National Society involvement in technological disasters and encouraging National Societies to intensify their activities in favour of the victims.
Second evaluation of CHARP concludes that monitoring shows no significant increase in radioactivity levels. It suggests focusing on detection of thyroid gland cancer in children, introducing lighter MDL vehicles, pursuing monitoring of radioactivity, distribution of milk powder, vitamins and micronutrients, developing a PSP, advocating for long-term sustainability and greater involvement of the National Societies in the programme.
February-April 1996. ECHO Evaluation of CHARP suggests focusing on screening for thyroid gland cancer, redefining the target population and increasing the number of MDLs.
Sasakawa Foundation stops its activities in Chernobyl-affected areas.
Sasakawa Foundation stops its activities in Chernobyl-affected areas. CHARP remains the only programme continuing to medically screen local population in remote areas.
Second International CHARP Symposium (Gomel, Belarus) recommends stopping dosimetry due to generally low levels of radiation, introducing lighter MDLs, focusing on screening and detection of thyroid gland cancer among children, introducing PSS as a pilot project, continuing distribution of multivitamins and milk powder. One MDL is transferred from Russia (Kursk) to Belarus (Brest).
IFRC completes needs assessment for the psychosocial component of CHARP. Psychosocial training delegate assigned to the Minsk Federation Delegation to train the local coordinator, organize the first training seminar and make recommendations on the PSS pilot programme.
Sphere Project is initiated by a group of NGOs and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
UN Evaluation Mission for the Chernobyl disaster's 10th anniversary visits Gomel.
UN Evaluation Mission for the Chernobyl disaster’s 10th anniversary visits Gomel and observes a CHARP MDL in operation.
PSS pilot project starts in Belarus. First PSP ToT workshop for 16 trainers is organized in Gomel (Belarus).
6 new (lighter) VW MDLs are received in Brest, Mogilev and Gomel (Belarus), Zhitomir and Rovno (Ukraine) and Bryansk (Russia). MDL teams are trained in using new equipment for thyroid gland screening.
Second workshop for all MDL teams focuses on exchange of experience and scientific updates.
PSS assessment mission in Belarus recommends formalizing the project, clarifying psychological needs, focusing training on more practical skills, reinforcing training methodology and contents, working more in schools and communities, cooperating with other organizations.
Autumn 1998. 12 MDL medical staff trained for a month in Hiroshima Japanese Red Cross Society Hospital, Japan.
ECHO announces that it will stop funding CHARP.
Third CHARP Evaluation recommends continuing screening for thyroid gland cancer, making rehabilitation of affected communities a priority, developing PSS into a service delivery, considering distribution of L-thyroxin, multivitamins and milk powder as a second-rank priority.
IFRC General Assembly adopts Strategy 2010 shifting its focus from relief-oriented systems towards empowerment of communities, capacity building, vulnerability and advocacy. Health is identified as a core area. It also adopts Post-Emergency Rehabilitation Policy calling for complementing rather than replacing the activities of government services and prioritizing community services.
Early 2000. Sphere handbook “Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response” is published.
Restructuring at the IFRC secretariat, Geneva.
ECHO funding for CHARP stops. Staff cuts in CHARP due to funding problems.
EU completes a project aimed at informing the public in the affected countries of recommendations on how to live safely in the affected areas.
European Union within its TACIS (Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States) programme completes a project aimed at informing the public in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus about the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and recommendations on how to live safely in the affected areas.
"Human Consequences of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident: A Strategy for Recovery" is published.
Early 2002. Publication of Human Consequences of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident: A Strategy for Recovery. UN 10-year strategy for Chernobyl launched.
Early 2002. Biopsy tests in the field introduced at the MDL in Brest (Belarus).
IAEA approves publication of Preparedness and Response for a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency.
IAEA Board of Governors approves a safety requirements publication Preparedness and Response for a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency.
Fourth CHARP evaluation suggests continuing screening for thyroid gland pathologies for the priority target group (born in 1969-1987) and continuing discussions with authorities on increasing their financial contribution to CHARP.
Chernobyl Forum is created.
Early 2003. IAEA, WHO, UNDP, FAO, UN Environment Programme, UN-OCHA, UNSCEAR, World Bank, governments of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine create Chernobyl Forum to obtain consensus on the health, environmental, and socio-economic consequences of the Chernobyl accident and to better understand and improve measures to deal with its impact.
Early 2003. Dutch National Postcode Lottery donates 1 million euro (1,470,000 Swiss francs) to the National Red Cross Society for CHARP. Together with the Japanese and British Red Cross contributions, funding for CHARP is thus secured for 2003-2005.
Data analysis of the ongoing medical screening concludes that the collected data cannot be used for scientific research.
April-May 2003. CHARP evaluation commissioned by the Netherlands Red Cross following the donation of the Dutch National Postcode Lottery recommends continuing medical screening with minor improvements and to develop a programme strategy for 3 years aimed at achieving programme sustainability.
ICRIN is launched.
ICRIN is launched by IAEA, UNDP, UNICEF, WHO to meet the priority information needs of affected communities and to translate the latest scientific information into practical advice for residents of the affected territories.
7th Session of the Governing Board of the IFRC adopts Psychological Support Policy calling for integrating/mainstreaming psychological support into all relevant assistance programmes.
IFRC becomes a member of ICRIN Steering Committee and starts participating in decision-making regarding the work of this network.
CHARP funding strategy for 2003-2005 and until 2008 is developed. The strategy declares the need for National Societies and governments to gradually take over the programme.
Mid-2003. New equipment for MDLs (scanners, blood and urine analysers, disposables) purchased in the Netherlands. Locally purchased Gazel mini- buses replace VW minibuses.
ICCC meeting in Brest approves CHARP funding strategy for the coming 5 years.
The strategy focuses on organization and management of the programme, and its position in the institutional setting of the healthcare services in the countries concerned, and presupposes further integration of the programme into the health systems.
The Netherlands Red Cross formally pledges 1 million euro raised through the Dutch National Postcode Lottery and earmarked for CHARP for three years (2003-2005).
Following the new CHARP funding strategy, programme activities are decentralized. Each National Society appoints paid full-time CHARP coordinators.
Forgotten Crises conference focuses on Chernobyl as a major theme.
IFRC plays a leading role in the Forgotten Crises conference in Geneva, which has Chernobyl as a major theme.
UN transfers the responsibility for its coordination of Chernobyl activities from OCHA to UNDP.
UN transfers the responsibility for UN coordination of Chernobyl activities from OCHA to the UNDP, thus recognizing that the emergency phase is over. 2nd International Scientific Conference Overcoming the Consequences of Chernobyl Disaster: Status and Perspectives held in Gomel, Belarus.
3rd decade since the Chernobyl accident is declared as the Decade of Recovery and Sustainable Development of the Affected Regions.
UN General Assembly declares 2006-2016, the third decade since the Chernobyl accident, as the Decade of Recovery and Sustainable Development of the Affected Regions.
Last exchange of experience workshop for the staff of all MDL teams from the three countries organized in Kiev (later such workshops held in each country separately).
Gomel and Mogilev MDLs (Belarus) start performing fine needle biopsy tests for thyroid gland screening in the field.
In Russia and Ukraine fine needle biopsy is performed at district hospitals as per local legislation.
Midterm CHARP evaluation recommends continuing screening for thyroid gland pathologies, developing programme strategy, considering possibility of introducing breast cancer screening.
Chernobyl Forum produces a report.
Chernobyl Forum produces report Chernobyl’s Legacy: Health, Environmental and Socio-economic Impacts. The report recognizes the mental health impact as the “largest health problem unleashed by the incident” and outlines numerous possibilities to better rehabilitate the affected communities.
20 years after the Chernobyl accident
20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster
Chernobyl Forum publishes Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident and Special Health Care Programmes.
Chernobyl Forum publishes the report Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident and Special Health Care Programmes prepared by its Expert Group on Health.
IFRC delegation in Kiev starts active public relations campaign in connection with the 20th Chernobyl anniversary (intensive contacts with journalists, brochures, photo exhibitions, short documentary).
UN General Assembly proclaims the 3rd decade after the Chernobyl accident a decade of "recovery and sustainable development."
UN General Assembly proclaims the third decade after Chernobyl (2006-2016) a decade of “recovery and sustainable development”. UN Resolution explicitly recognizes the role of CHARP.
International financial crisis in Ukraine
International financial crisis: industrial production in Ukraine drops by 15%.
IAEA starts a project for radiological support.
IAEA initiates the project Radiological Support for the Rehabilitation of the Areas Affected by the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Accident.
Some MDLs start performing breast cancer screening using ultrasound scanners. Suggestions to add HIV/AIDS prevention to CHARP are discussed.
ICCC meeting recognizes a serious funding problem, suggests creating resource mobilization departments at the three National Societies, introducing new programme components to attract donors and summarizing CHARP experience for other National Societies in case of another nuclear accident.
IAEA publishes Rural Areas Affected by the Chernobyl Accident: Radiation Exposure and Remediation Strategies.
IAEA publishes the study Rural Areas Affected by the Chernobyl Accident: Radiation Exposure and Remediation Strategies.
The IFRC delegation produces photomaterials for the CHARP exhibition and a photo book on CHARP.
The 7th MDL is provided by the German Red Cross to be used in Volyn’ oblast (Ukraine).
3 reactors at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant melt down.
Fukushima nuclear power plant (Japan) is hit by tsunami, resulting in the meltdown of 3 of its 6 power reactors.
International UN conference “Twenty-five Years after the Chernobyl Accident: Safety for the Future” is held.
International UN conference “Twenty-five Years after the Chernobyl Accident: Safety for the Future” is held in Kiev.
IFRC Delegation and National Red Cross Societies organise round tables, journalists’ visits, exhibitions, articles, interviews and other events for the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster.
A 6 minute documentary Chernobyl: 25 Years On, funded by the Norwegian and Japanese Red Cross societies and highlighting the work of CHARP MDLs, is presented at the National Society Consultation Forum on Nuclear Weapons (Oslo, Norway).
UN system-wide study on the implications of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident is released.
UN system-wide study on the implications of the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant is released. The report contains references to the consequences of the Chernobyl accident food contamination, effects on biota, anxiety in the general population, lack of economic opportunities and information.
ICCC meeting concludes that CHARP should be continued, and that efforts should be made to raise funds internationally and locally.
18th IFRC General Assembly adopts Decision 11/46 Preparedness to respond to the humanitarian consequences of nuclear accidents commending National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for providing “life-saving medical screening, social and psychosocial support” within CHARP and calling for more preparedness work with local communities.
Last refresher workshops on PSS held in Mogilev (Belarus), Rovno (Ukraine) and Bryansk (Russia) for MDL medical teams and Red Cross staff and volunteers.
Ukrainian Red Cross is officially included in the state programme for responding to technological and natural disasters in Ukraine.
Working well of shifting in Chernobyl-related programmes is confirmed.
A UN inter-agency coordination meeting on Chernobyl (IAEA, Vienna) confirms that the overall shift to the development phase in Chernobyl-related programming has been working well.
Last meeting of ICCC. IFRC and the three National Societies discuss how to further increase local input and how to “gradually hand over in future the programme to the governmental health care system”.
April-May 2012. Last annual report (2011) for CHARP is produced. IFRC funding for CHARP project is stopped.
IFRC establishes a focal point for the Nuclear and Radiological Emergencies preparedness programme in Geneva.
OCHA releases results of a study on linking humanitarian and nuclear response systems.
OCHA releases a study on linking humanitarian and nuclear response systems including recommendation that the human dimension of nuclear accidents is taken into consideration in early recovery efforts.
UNDP produces “Recovery from Chernobyl and other nuclear emergencies: experiences and lessons learned.”
UNDP produces study Recovery from Chernobyl and Other Nuclear Emergencies: Experiences and Lessons Learned.
The first meeting of the reference group on Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Preparedness in Vienna, Austria.
IFRC representation in Kiev is closed.
IFRC becomes a corresponding member (observer) of IACRNE.
Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Resource Centre - Digital Archive, operated by the Japanese Red Cross Society, is launched.
68th UN General Assembly adopts a resolution.
68th session of the UN General Assembly adopts resolution strengthening international cooperation and coordination of efforts to study, mitigate and minimize the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster, recognizing the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement contribution and encouraging support for recovery activities.
Reference group on nuclear emergency preparedness meets at the IFRC secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting includes a half-day session on CHARP.
A new conceptual framework for multilateral international cooperation on Chernobyl is discussed.
Inter-Agency Task Force on Chernobyl in Belarus chaired by the UNDP launches a discussion on a new conceptual framework for multilateral international cooperation on Chernobyl.
Reference group on Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Preparedness meets in Fukushima, Japan.
CHARP review process is launched.
Chernobyl experience is presented at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai.
Governments of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus jointly present their Chernobyl experiences at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai.
Reference group on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear emergency preparedness meets in Berlin, Germany.
Launch of IFRC Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Guidelines: Preparedness, Response and Recovery.