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State of Global Air : Morocco well positioned in the MENA region

Data provided by the State of Global Air report on air pollution in Morocco is quite positive when compared to other MENA region countries.

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Morocco is one of the top performing countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, according to data provided by the State of Global Air report which brings together the most recent information available on levels and trends in air quality and health for countries the world over.

The Kingdom was well positioned in the region as indicated by the survey compiled by the Health Effects Institute and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s Global Burden of Disease Project and published on Wednesday 18th of April.

The report is based on two main categories to measure household air pollution levels and associated burden of disease, namely Air Quality and Health impact. The first index relies on three major sub-categories calculating ambient particulate matter pollution, ambient ozone pollution and household air pollution from solid fuels in Morocco.

Air pollution and Health issues

Based on recent data made public by the report’s interactive platform, the Kingdom’s average annual population-weighted PM 2.5 - an air pollutant which is of concern to people's health when levels in the air are high - was limited to 25 micrograms per cubic meter in 2016, making the country second in the region after Palestine.

Meanwhile, Morocco’s seasonal population-weighted ozone concentration during the same year is 58 parts per billion, topping the MENA list.

On the other hand, the proportion of population using solid fuels in Morocco is 0.027, keeping significantly the same trend when compared to other North African and Middle Eastern countries.

In general, Morocco has managed to keep a positive record, in terms of the air quality index. The Kingdom has approximately maintained the same scores from 1995 to 2016.

Moving to the health impacts related to air pollution, statistics put forward by the report suggest that 12,406 deaths were attributable to PM 2.5 in 2016 putting Morocco behind Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, UAE, Tunisia, Syria and Saudi Arabia, and ahead of Iraq and Egypt.

In 2016, 270 deaths were attributable to ozone while 877 others were related to household air pollution from solid fuels. On the other hand, 13,337 deaths were linked in 2016 to air pollution.

For the record, all data provided by the report highlights trends from 1990 to 2016. This year’s edition, according to its authors, focuses «not only on ambient (outdoor) air pollution but also, for the first time, on household air pollution from the burning of solid fuels for cooking and heating, a major contributor to pollution both inside and outside the home».

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