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Afghanistan’s Air Is Deadlier Than Its War


Foreign Policy, 26 May 2019

Despite the headline that might somewhat trivialises the war, this photo essay points to a severely underreported part of Afghan reality: the lethal danger that stems from environmental damage (much of it conflict- and poverty-related):

Air pollution is killing more Afghans than the war. According to the State of Global Air, a collaborative initiative between the Health Effects Institute and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, more than 26,000 Afghan deathscould be attributed to pollution in 2017. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan documented nearly 3,500 civilian deaths from pollution for the same time period. The root cause is the burning of anything possible to get Afghans the energy and heat they need in harsh winters—including plastic, coal, and rubber. Mixed into that is the use of leaded fuels banned in the West decades ago…

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