An overview of meeting between leading officials of Can Tho and delegation from the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Vietnam (Source: VNA)

Can Tho (VNA) – Leading officials of the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho met on January 16 with a delegation from the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Vietnam to discuss a campaign to raise awareness of the impact of air pollution on the climate and public health.

They also exchanged views on how to map out a programme to make the city meet the WHO’s air quality standards by 2030.

Ton Tuan Nghia, an official from WHO Vietnam’s Environmental Health Programme, said the organisation is working with the Climate & Clean Air Coalition to implement a global campaign named BreatheLife – a network of cities taking action to reduce air pollution.

Joining the campaign, Can Tho will receive aid worth 30,000 USD to carry out communications activities to raise public awareness of air pollution, and be provided with other assistance to tackle issues related to urban waste and renewable energy, Nghia added.

Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Dao Anh Dung affirmed Can Tho is aware of the importance of improving awareness of air pollution as well as the necessity to take urgent action to deal with this problem.

Since 2016, the city has implemented various action programmes, Dung stated, appreciating the assistance of the WHO.

He assigned the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment to work with representatives from the WHO Vietnam to prepare to join the BreatheLife campaign so as to ensure the city will meet WHO air quality standards by 2030.

BreatheLife is a global campaign led by WHO, the Climate & Clean Air Coalition and the Government of Norway to raise awareness about the health risks of short-lived climate pollutants which contribute significantly to global warming and air pollution.

The campaign stresses both measures cities can implement such as better housing, transport, waste and energy systems, and others people can take, including stopping waste burning, promoting green spaces and walking or cycling to improve the air.

According to the WHO, some 3 million deaths a year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution can be just as deadly. In 2012, an estimated 6.5 million deaths, or 11.6 percent of all global deaths, were associated with indoor and outdoor air pollution together.-VNA