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Nigeria Among Countries With Highest Level Of Poverty, Pollution- World Bank

The report highlights the wastage of trillions of dollars on subsidies for agriculture, fishing, and fossil fuels, which could instead be utilized to combat climate change effectively.

By Johnson Atoukudu

In a recent report titled “Detox Development: Repurposing Environmentally Harmful Subsidies,” the World Bank has revealed that Nigeria, India, and the Democratic Republic of Congo are leading the list of countries facing the highest levels of poverty and pollution exposure.

The report highlights the wastage of trillions of dollars on subsidies for agriculture, fishing, and fossil fuels, which could instead be utilized to combat climate change effectively.

According to the report, approximately 716 million individuals living in poverty-stricken areas are exposed to hazardous air pollution. It emphasizes that a significant majority of those exposed to unsafe levels of particulate matter (PM) reside in low- and middle-income countries. The report specifically mentions that 50% of this population is concentrated in India, Nigeria, and Congo.

The report added, “The distribution of poor people exposed to unsafe or hazardous levels of pollution is highly skewed: almost half (48.6 per cent) are located in just three countries. India, with a population of more than 202 million, has the highest absolute number of extreme poor exposed to unsafe levels of particulate matter, corresponding to 14.7 per cent of India’s overall population.

“Nigeria is a distant second, followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo. Overall, the top 10 countries account for 67.8 per cent of the total incidence of all of the extreme poor who are exposed to unsafe concentrations of PM globally.”

In a statement announcing the report, the Senior Managing Director of the World Bank, Axel van Trotsenburg, said, “People say that there isn’t money for climate but there is – it’s just in the wrong places.

“If we could repurpose the trillions of dollars being spent on wasteful subsidies and put these to better, greener uses, we could together address many of the planet’s most pressing challenges.”

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