Ulaanbaatar, 14 April 2017 – Wagner Asia today hands over much-needed air purifiers to three kindergartens in Bayanzurkh district, one of most polluted districts of Ulaanbaatar city, as part its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
Mongolia’s capital city Ulaanbaatar is one of the most polluted in the world with PM2.5 on average 7 times higher than WHO standards. Air pollution affects everyone – but it affects children the most as demonstrated by UNICEF report released last year.
In 2015, up to 435 children under the age of five in Ulaanbaatar died from pneumonia – a disease which is significantly linked with air pollution. Air pollution is also linked with a variety of other illnesses that affect children, including bronchitis and asthma. Moreover, it poses severe risks to pregnant mothers, and the development of the foetus. Studies show that spontaneous abortion can be three times higher during the months when air pollution is high.
Much of the pollution is caused by the burning of coal and other solid fuels for cooking and heating in the neighbouring areas. As the country has been taking major steps towards reducing air pollution, UNICEF is supporting the Government of Mongolia in improving understanding of air pollution on the health of children to advise better policies.
UNICEF also works closely with Mongolia’s private sector to promote child-focused corporate responsibility and strengthen their commitment towards a positive contribution to communities and environment.
Today’s contribution by Wagner Asia is the latest example of successful partnership of UNICEF and private sector as a result of which more than 800 children will breathe better at kindergartens.
“These children are more likely to be healthy; they are more likely to be able to play and to learn; they are more likely to have a fair chance at maximizing their potential in life” said Roberto Benes, UNICEF Mongolia Representative in his remarks. “The Government has increased its efforts to tackle air pollution, but we also must do what we can now to protect children immediately from the negative effects of air pollution. We hope that Wagner Asia’s generous initiative sets an example to other companies who want to make a tangible contribution to children’s well-being”.
In next two years, UNICEF and Wagner Asia will continue working together towards improving the welfare of children in Mongolia with the special focus on reducing the impact of air pollution on children’s health.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF Mongolia and its work for children, visit: www.unicef.mn