KARACHI: Over the last 20 years, air in Pakistan has become polluted beyond ordinary levels as climate change becomes a deadly fact. According to a recent World Air Quality Report, Pakistan is one of the top countries with the worst air quality. Simply put: more than 9% of our population or over 100,000 people will continue to die every year due to ‘toxic air’, in the form of highly concentrated toxic chemicals called PM-particulate matter – a new breed of an invisible enemy.
In the last 20 years, Pakistan has witnessed over 141 extreme events with an average death toll of over 600 lives and an economic loss of over USD 3.9 million. Fueled with over population, urbanization, unemployment and climate change in the aftermath of COVID-19, Pakistan is in danger of impacting many of its under-served communities with health issues, as yearly health costs rise up to USD 12-13 billion. Unlike Russia, India and China, Pakistan’s contribution as a polluter is not as severe but the country is at high risk as a victim.