Japanese ODA helps China

Since Japan started providing financial aid to China in the mid 1970s, many projects have been supported also to improve the environment. Air pollution control measures and sewage plants are among the ODA projects.

Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has provided a number of ODA loans for projects aimed at improving the environment in China, where a variety of problems, including air pollution and deteriorating water quality, have come to the surface in parallel with the rapidly growing economy. JBIC asked Kyoto University to conduct a study on the effectiveness of these projects, and verified the direct impact of the environmental projects in China for the first time. For example, the study found that sulphur dioxide (SO2) was reduced by 190,000 tonnes thanks to the Japanese ODA projects:

52 million people benefited from electric power supply (industrial development and rural electrification); 31,660,000 people from safe water supply and treatment of domestic and industrial wastewater; 2,670,000 people from flood control, erosion control and other disaster prevention facilities; and 520,000 people from support for cultivation and harvest of agricultural products.

Read more on the JBIC website.

In spite of the efforts, air pollution is widespread in China. Antiquated factories billow smoke, many residents still use coal to heat their houses, and a sharp increase in car ownership has bathed the motorways in exhaust fumes, according to China Daily. The article notes that an American study claims China's urban skies have darkened over the past 50 years, possibly due to haze resulting from a nine-fold increase in fossil fuel emissions.

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