World Bank to Help Kyrgyzstan Reduce Air Pollution

The World Bank and the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ecology and Technical Supervision (MNRETS) of the Kyrgyz Republic on December 12th hosted a stakeholder meeting to launch the World Bank’s new report, Air Quality Analysis for Bishkek: PM2.5 Source Apportionment and Emission Reduction Measures, according to a statement on the World Bank website.

The World Bank conducted this study in close coordination with MNRETS Hydrometeorological Service (Kyrgyzhydromet) under the Ministry of Emergency Situations and Bishkek Municipality to evaluate the air quality in Bishkek, focusing on PM2.5 pollution.

Exposure to fine inhalable particles (PM2.5 with a diameter of 2.5 micro-meters or less) poses serious health risks, including respiratory infections, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and premature deaths. In Bishkek, the average annual PM2.5 concentrations in 2022 surpassed the WHO guideline value of 5 µg/m3 by nearly sevenfold. During the last several winters, average daily concentrations of PM2.5 were often above 200 µg/m3, surpassing the WHO guideline of 15 µg/m3 by more than 13 times and placing Bishkek among the world’s most polluted cities. The losses caused by air pollution in Bishkek are estimated to be equivalent to 1.2% of the Kyrgyz Republic’s GDP, while air pollution at country level is estimated cost 5.1% of the GDP.

In line with priorities and recommendations identified in the study, the World Bank jointly with MNRETS, KyrgyzHydromet and Bishkek Municipality has prepared a $50 million Kyrgyz Republic Air Quality Improvement Project to help the country reduce air pollution and the adverse effects it has on public health and the economy. This project is expected to not only directly benefit residents of Bishkek by improving the city’s air quality, but will also support the establishment of a sound Air Quality Management System that will drive policy actions for air quality improvement, aiming to mitigate the impact of air pollution on public health and economic development across the country.

Times of Central Asia

Times of Central Asia

 Stephen M. Bland is a journalist, author, editor, commentator and researcher specialising in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Prior to joining The Times of Central Asia, he has worked for NGOs, think tanks, as the Central Asia expert on a forthcoming documentary series, for the BBC, The Diplomat, EurasiaNet, and numerous other publications.
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Published in 2016, his book on Central Asia was the winner of the Golden Laureate of Eurasian Literature. He is currently putting the finishing touches to a book about the Caucasus.
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www.stephenmbland.com

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