Air pollution costs Egypt at least $3bln annually: World Bank

Poor-quality air causes long-term health issues

A minaret is seen through early morning haze on the skyline of Cairo, Egypt March 21, 2018.

A minaret is seen through early morning haze on the skyline of Cairo, Egypt March 21, 2018.

Reuters/Russell Boyce

ArabFinance: Air pollution costs Egypt at least EGP 47 billion a year, estimates by the World Bank (WB) showed.

Poor-quality air causes long-term health issues, while the additional strain on healthcare systems and reduced productivity from chronic illnesses and missed workdays bring a sizable economic hit.

WB’s report relying on 2016-2017 data estimated that air pollution in Greater Cairo alone could be costing us an estimated EGP 47 billion in 2017, equivalent to 1.35% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The cost of inadequate drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene nationwide was EGP 39 billion, equivalent to 1.15% of GDP.

“Water-related costs are likely higher than suggested by this div because of undetermined exposure to lead, other heavy metals, and chemicals through drinking water, the report highlighted.

The report finds that 19,200 people died prematurely and over 3 billion days were lived with illness in Egypt in 2017 as a result of air pollution in Greater Cairo, and inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene in all of Egypt.

A 2020 study found out that Cairo is the world’s most polluted city, out of 48 surveyed by UK solar comparison website The Eco Experts.

On April 8th, Parliament’s Energy and Environment Committee approved a $200 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) for Egypt’s green recovery project.

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