Egypt is set to host this year’s UN climate conference COP27, in November. Cairo– the capital of Egypt has constantly ranked low in air quality rankings. The PM 2.5 concentration in the air according to the WHO should not be more than 5 mg per meter cube, in Cairo it’s 72mg per meter cube according to Global Ambient Air Database.
The Egyptian government estimates that about 2 million people seek medical treatment for diseases caused by poor air quality every year. The World Bank estimates that more than 12,000 people die prematurely every year due to poor air quality.
“Air pollution constitutes a chronic problem in Cairo due to the growing population, uncontrolled rural migration, rapid urbanization, and the presence of a large number of publicly owned chemical, metallurgical and other heavy industries near residential centers,” reads the government's 2021 Egypt Human Development Report.
The Egyptian government has signed a six-year deal with the World Bank for Greater Cairo Air Pollution and Climate Change Project. It aims to improve the air quality and waste management system of Cairo, $200 million will be spent under this project. It involves turning rice straws into the wood which were earlier burnt by farmers and replacing city public transport with electric buses and monorail.