Mongolia's capital city, Ulaanbaatar's high level of air pollution is causing a very serious health crisis, particularly for children, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday.
According to a study conducted by UNICEF and Mongolia's National Center for Public Health, the burning of coal for home heating causes the most pollution.
The organization noted that the Government of Mongolia's data regarding air pollution levels, reported on Jan. 30, shows that it is 133 times the recommended daily average concentration.
"This means that the costs of not reducing air pollution levels would amount to more than $10 million over the 2017–2025 period to the Ulaanbaatar City health system alone," the study showed.
"Mongolia's capital, Ulaanbaatar, hosts about half of the country's total population and its air pollution levels is among the highest in the world during the long cold season," UNICEF said and added that most of the pollution stems from using raw coal and other solid fuels.
The Mongolian government recently launched a National Program for Reducing Air and Environmental Pollution (NPRAEP) 2025.
The program is a comprehensive strategy, which integrates policies aimed at reducing air and environmental pollution with concrete implementation actions and inter-sectoral coordination using all available technical, financial and human resources.
The NPRAEP’s objectives aim at providing medium to long-term strategies to address air pollution within Mongolia, focusing almost exclusively on the energy sector and how to make it more environmentally friendly, which requires significant investments.
By Firdevs Yuksel