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Air Pollution A Major Risk For Children: WHO

Measures for reducing the toxic impact of air pollution include moving away from fossil fuels.

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Air pollution
A bus gives off exhaust fumes in Alexandria, Virginia. (Photo by Diaa Bekheet). The World Health Organization reported on Monday Oct. 29, 2018, that more than 90 percent, or nearly 2 billion children under the age of 15, breathe toxic air every day. The WHO says debilitating problems associated with air pollution begin at conception and continue until adolescence. VOA

The World Health Organization says air pollution kills hundreds of thousands of children every year and puts the physical health and neurological development of hundreds of millions of other youngsters at serious risk. The WHO is issuing a report titled “Air pollution and child health: Prescribing clean air” on the eve of the U.N. agency’s first-ever Global Conference on Air pollution and Health.

The World Health Organization reports more than 90 percent, or nearly 2 billion children under the age of 15, breathe toxic air every day. The WHO says debilitating problems associated with air pollution begin at conception and continue until adolescence.

air pollution
In this Sept. 19, 2018 photo steam and cooling towers of a lignite power plant are reflected in a pond in Peitz, eastern Germany. VOA

The report notes pregnant women exposed to polluted air are likely to give birth prematurely and have low-weight babies. A WHO scientist and expert on air pollution, Marie Noel Brune Drisse, warns that many babies will have neurodevelopment problems, resulting in lower IQs.

“The fact is that air pollution is stunting our brains, even before we are born,” said Drisse. “The fact that it is leading to diseases that we may not be able to see immediately but look at much later in life like adult diseases. Our lung function and our respiratory systems are being altered during our development.”

Drisse says this can lead to chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, as well as certain types of cancers later in life. In 2016, the report estimated that 600,000 children died from acute lower respiratory infections caused by polluted air. It said the heaviest toll is paid by children in low- and middle-income countries. The report found that the highest death rates among children between the ages of 5 and 14 from both ambient and household air pollution occur in the African region.

global warming, air pollution
The sun is seen through evening air pollution in Bangkok, Thailand, Feb. 8, 2018. VOA

The report says switching to clean cooking and heating fuels and technologies could save the lives of many children. It says other measures for reducing the toxic impact of air pollution include moving away from fossil fuels.

Also Read: Ebola Has Reached To A Very Serious Situation In Congo: WHO

The report recommends the use of cleaner, renewable energy sources, less dependence on private cars in favor of public transportation, and better waste management systems. WHO officials say the benefits from implementing such measures will be felt almost immediately. (VOA)

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India Gets Assistance of Rs 3,420 Crore From Japan

The project for the construction of Chennai road aims to meet increasing traffic demands in the metropolitan area and installing Intelligent Transport Systems,

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Japan will be giving a loan of Rs 3,420 crore to India to assist in constructing the Chennai Peripheral Ring Road and for joint efforts towards meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The loan agreements were signed here today (Friday) between the Government of India and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), New Delhi under Japanese Official Development Assistance Loan Program,” the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

The Japanese ODA loan is for construction of phase one of Chennai Peripheral Ring Road for about Rs 2,470 crore and for Japan-India cooperative actions towards SDGs in India for about Rs 950 crore.

FDI
The Japanese ODA loan is for construction of phase one of Chennai Peripheral Ring Road for about Rs 2,470 crore and for Japan-India cooperative actions towards SDGs in India for about Rs 950 crore. www.trafficchallan.co.in

The agreements were signed by Finance Ministry Additional Secretary C.S. Mohapatra and JICA New Delhi Chief Representative Katsuo Matsumoto, the Ministry said.

Also Read: Now India is One of The Most Open Countries for FDI: Narendra Modi

The project for the construction of Chennai road aims to meet increasing traffic demands in the metropolitan area and installing Intelligent Transport Systems, thereby contributing to mitigation of traffic congestion and promoting Regional Economic Development.

The other program aims to promote SDGs in India, mainly in social development, by supporting the efforts by the Indian government to strengthen the policy framework and implementation mechanism, thereby supporting India in achieving SDGs by 2030, it added.(IANS)