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Report Launch: Air Quality Analysis for Bishkek

December 12, 2023
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic

The World Bank and the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ecology and Technical Supervision (MNRETS) of the Kyrgyz Republic are hosting a stakeholder meeting to launch the World Bank's new report, Air Quality Analysis for Bishkek: PM2.5 Source Apportionment and Emission Reduction Measures (in English and in Russian).

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 micrometers 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 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 the country level is estimated to be 5.1% of the GDP.

In line with identified priorities and recommendations made in the study, the World Bank jointly with the MNRETS, KyrgyzHydromet and Bishkek Municipality has prepared a $50 million Kyrgyz Republic Air Quality Improvement Project to help the country reduce its air pollution and the adverse effects it has on public health and the economy. This project is expected to not only directly benefit the 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. The design of this project will also be discussed during the event.