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Persistent Organic Pollutants

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are chemicals that negatively affect health and the environment when released into the air, water and soil. POPs can cause nervous system damage, immune system breakdowns, reproductive and development disorders, and cancers. They are a constant threat to sustainable human development, with the poorest among us most susceptible to their impacts on ecosystems. As an implementing agency under the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNDP has - since 2004 - been expanding its work on these hazardous chemicals and promoting environmentally friendly alternatives that can promote achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Since 2004, UNDP has been assisting 84 developing countries and countries with economies in transition in their efforts to sustainably manage the use, disposal, and destruction of POPs, working with private sector partners and NGOs. Through the introduction of life cycle management of POPs and affordable alternative approaches and technologies, 18,203 tonnes of POPs were safely disposed of reducing the risk of direct exposure to POPs for 2.5 million people.

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