14 April 2023

Health and Social Impacts of Air Pollution on Women and Children in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

In 2022, UNICEF, together with Bishkek Mayor Office, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ecology and Technical Supervision, released the results of the study on “Health and social impacts of air pollution on children and women in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan”. The study conducted the most up-to-date assessment of the health and social impacts of air pollution on children and women in Bishkek and developed recommendations on appropriate prevention measures. The analysis shows that the right to atmospheric air favourable for life and health is far from the current reality for Bishkek residents. Air pollution is the single biggest environmental risk factor for premature death and ill health in Kyrgyzstan, with ill health due to air pollution primarily borne by the elderly and young children in the first days of life.  The study recommends increasing the use of objective scientific information on the health and social impacts of air pollution in policy-making; coordinating air pollution intervention measures; improving energy efficiency measures including window, wall and roof insulation to reduce energy demand in single homes; and prioritizing the promotion of coal-free zones in urban areas to reduce household coal combustion, together with a demonstration of cost-effective alternatives through incentive programs and financial models. This study was conducted with the technical assistance of UNICEF and funded by the Japan Government.