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Award-Winning Chef Jose Andres Joins Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves as Culinary Ambassador

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with Chef Jose Andres, Culinary Ambassador for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves at the Department of State on September 13, 2011. State Department photo.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with Chef Jose Andres, Culinary Ambassador for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves at the Department of State on September 13, 2011. State Department photo.

Chef Jose Andres joins the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves as “Culinary Ambassador,” helping to raise awareness of an issue that causes nearly two million deaths each year: toxic smoke from traditional cooking stoves. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who launched the Alliance last year, today met with Chef Andres to thank him for his commitment and discuss their mutual interest and determination to bring clean cooking solutions to the developing world.

In his new role, Chef Andres, alongside Secretary Clinton, the United Nations Foundation, and a rapidly growing list of over 160 other Alliance partners, will be instrumental in achieving the Alliance’s ’100 by 20′ goal, which calls for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020. Chef Andres’ passion for economic and social empowerment through sustainable, safe and clean cooking practices in the developing world has few rivals. After witnessing the impact of dirty cooking conditions while assisting in post-earthquake humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti, Chef Andres formed World Central Kitchen to deploy clean and innovative cooking solutions throughout the developing world.

Every day, nearly 3 billion people use a crude stove or open fire to cook their meals – typically fueled by biomass such as wood, charcoal or dung – in homes with poor or no ventilation. Exposure to smoke from these stoves has been categorized by the World Health Organization as the fifth biggest health risk factor in the developing world and causes two million people to die each year, mostly from acute pneumonia and chronic lung disease. The vast majority of deaths are among women and children in the developing world.

Encouraging the development and use of clean cookstoves in cultures, communities, and countries throughout the developing world is consistent with the core principles of U.S. foreign policy and development efforts, which focus on improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable populations. In September 2010, Secretary Clinton announced the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a public-private partnership to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. The U.S. Government has committed more than $50 million over the first five years to the Alliance.

‘Clean stoves’ would save lives, cut pollution

Secretary Clinton’s Interview With Belinda Luscombe of Time Magazine

FACT SHEET: The U.S. Commitment to Cookstoves in India

FACT SHEET: The U.S. Commitment to Cookstoves in Africa

Additional African Nations to Join the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

 


FACT SHEET: The U.S. Commitment to Cookstoves in India

In September 2010, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a public-private partnership led by the United Nations Foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.  The Alliance’s ‘100 by 20’ goal calls for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020.

At an event at the Working Women’s Forum in Chennai, India, Secretary Clinton today announced that two major Indian industrial organizations – the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) – have agreed to join the Alliance.  Both will be invaluable partners in building successful and sustainable cookstove businesses and consumer financing options across India.  CII has committed to link community efforts to its extensive industry network, help commercialize promising cooking technologies, and help integrate clean cookstoves into its other members’ projects.  FICCI will support small and medium-sized local cookstove enterprises, develop microfinance channels to support the purchase of cookstoves, develop women’s employment options, and support Alliance interaction with the Indian government. 

The Issue:  Nearly half of the world’s population – about 3 billion people – cooks their food each day on polluting, inefficient stoves.  Exposure to smoke from traditional cookstoves and open fires is the fifth worst health risk factor in poor countries and leads to nearly 2 million premature deaths of mostly women and young children each year (more than twice the mortality from malaria).  Cookstoves also increase pressures on local natural resources (e.g., forests, habitat) and contribute to climate change at the regional and global level.

In India, approximately 80 percent of rural homes and 20 percent of urban homes rely on solid fuels like wood or dung for cooking.  As a result, more than 100 million homes suffer unsafe exposures to cookstove smoke.   According to World Health Organization estimates, this exposure causes nearly 500,000 women and children in India to die prematurely each year.  Cookstoves account for about 3.5 percent of India’s national burden of disease.  Additionally, cookstoves represent about half of India’s black carbon inventory. 

A Global Alliance:  The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is working with public, private, and non-profit partners to help overcome market barriers and achieve large-scale production, deployment, and use of clean stoves and fuels in the developing world.  The Alliance comprises a rapidly growing list of nearly 100 public, private, philanthropic, NGO, academic, and other partners, including the governments of Burkina Faso, Denmark, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Honduras, Ireland, Kenya, Lesotho, Malta, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Rwanda, Spain, Tanzania, and the United States.

U.S. Government Commitment:  The United States Government has committed more than $50 million to the Alliance over the next five years.  Participating U.S. agencies include: The State Department, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services (National Institutes of Health; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and the U.S. Agency for International Development.  The U.S. Government is mobilizing financial resources, providing top-level U.S. experts, and leveraging research and development tools to help the Alliance achieve its ‘100 by 20’ target. Other U.S. agencies also are considering investments in this sector.

India: U.S. Government Cookstoves Activity by Agency

Department of Energy (DOE):  DOE is working to secure funding for research and development to advance clean and affordable cookstove technologies, which would be tightly linked to laboratory and field testing to ensure performance and usability of the clean stoves and to monitor adoption.  If funding is secured, DOE would look forward to engaging with research and development and testing organizations in other countries such as India to move these critical technologies forward.

Department of State:  The State Department is leading diplomatic discussions with the Government of India – as well as with private, non-governmental, and multi-lateral partners – regarding collaboration on cookstoves and the Alliance.  The State Department leads the U.S. federal interagency discussions and coordination with the Alliance, and also coordinates diplomatic dialogues related to global partnerships, health, women’s issues, climate change, and the environment.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):  EPA’s Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA) funded two pilot projects in India, organized two social marketing workshops with partners in India, organized a stove testing and design improvement capacity building workshop, and in 2007, hosted the 3rd Global PCIA Forum in Bangalore.  In addition, EPA held three stakeholder meetings in India, a stove testing workshop in Pune and is field testing First Energy’s “Oorja” stove in Kholapur; this stove will also be used in lab testing to help determine correlation of lab and field results.  EPA plans to continue capacity building activities in India – especially stove design and performance work as well as in-field stove testing.  In addition, EPA has started a productive dialogue with the Indian Government around stove testing and setting up stove testing facilities.

Health and Human Services (HHS):  Under the auspices of the Indo-U.S. Collaboration on Environmental and Occupational Health, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (with assistance from EPA) are providing technical assistance to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in support of ICMR-funded research regarding indoor air pollution affects on the following populations: (1) chronic lung disease among women; (2) pregnant mothers, adverse birth outcomes and early childhood pneumonia; (3) cardiovascular and respiratory health impacts among adults and; (4) children and asthma.  NIH also is currently supporting a research program in Vellore examining indoor air pollution as a risk factor for respiratory infections in children younger than 2 years.  Additionally, a joint initiative is being developed with the Directorate General of Health Services to better understand the impact of improved cookstoves on reducing burn injury among Indian users.

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):  NOAA scientists are collaborating with Indian scientists to develop and utilize sophisticated instruments to measure black carbon to characterize the climate impact of soot from cookstoves.

National Science Foundation (NSF):  NSF is planning to support and provide technical expertise for a workshop on cookstoves and compact power in Delhi in collaboration with IIT Delhi and the University of Maryland. 

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID):  USAID is currently implementing a cookstoves program in India to:  1) develop and test innovative demand generation strategies; 2) improve distribution channels and increase the use of microfinance; 3) collaborate with the government and other experts to help develop efficiency standards for advanced cookstoves; 4) determine and address market barriers, such as tariffs and taxes; and 5) develop and demonstrate approaches that will contribute to the Government of India’s National Biomass Cookstove Initiative.  Work is currently being done in select areas of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and is being initiated in Uttarakhand.

 


Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on The Working Women’s Forum

I want to thank my friend and your friend, a wonderful woman who is viewed as a leader around the world, Jaya. (Applause.)

I want you to know that I have admired the work of the Working Women’s Forum for many years. (Applause.) In 1978, there were only 800 women members. Today, there are more than 1 million of you. (Applause.) I am honored to be here with you to celebrate your accomplishments in bringing micro-credit to women, in bringing healthcare and other services to women so they could have a better life for themselves and their children. (Applause.)

I believe in the self-help movement that all of you are a part of, because I have seen the results with my own eyes. From Bangladesh to India to South Africa to Chile and Nicaragua and Latin America, I have seen women’s lives change, as we heard from the wonderful story earlier. Every one of you has a story, and I applaud you for what you have done to help yourselves. (Applause.)

So today, I wanted to bring you some more help, to help more women. (Applause.) I’m very pleased to announce that Goldman Sachs, a very important global financial company, has decided to support a training program through the Indian School of Business to help self-help groups bring even more knowledge and skills about how to take your businesses from the very local village level to the cities, to the countries, to the world. (Applause.)

I also know there are several panchayat members here, and I thank you for working so hard to promote government and democracy at the local level. (Applause.) So I am pleased to announce that the Government of the United States and the Government of India will establish a regional training program at the Asia University of Women to spotlight the success of the panchayat program, and train more women to be local leaders like you.

We also want to continue working with the Working Women’s Forum on the very serious problem we just heard about, violence against women. (Applause.)

And we want to work with you on another problem, and that is the smoke that you breathe when you are cooking for your families. I looked at an exhibition of cooking stoves outside with Dr. Kalpana Balakrishnan of Sri Ramachandra University. Is she here? Is that – yes. Doctor? She is one of the world’s experts on how to make cooking safer for women and children. (Applause.) Because of the health problems caused by breathing smoke, we have worked with many partners around the world to create the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. (Applause.) And we’re very proud that the Indian Government launched its own National Biomass Cookstove Initiative two years ago, that is trying to save lives and improve the conditions for cooking for millions of Indian women.

And so we will work with people around the world to help develop clean cookstoves, help to manufacture them so they are affordable for you to buy them, and we are delighted that we have partners right here with the Working Women’s Forum, with the Confederation of Indian Industries, and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, who have joined the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, to make your lives and the lives of your children better and healthier. (Applause.)

So it is for me a great honor to be here with all of you to celebrate the wonderful work that the Working Women’s Forum has done, to thank you all for the examples you are setting for both your daughters and your sons, and to pledge myself to continue working with you on the important issues that are necessary to empower women so that you have your right to be whoever you want to be and to do what you believe is right and to lay the pathway for your daughters and your sons for a better future. (Applause.)

So, Jaya – Jaya, come down here. Come down here. Come down here. This is a woman who has worked so hard. (Applause.) And all of you will have to decide how you can follow her model, so that you not only help yourselves and your families but you spread the word about microfinance, about bank accounts, about starting businesses, about getting health services, about empowering the women of this state, and giving everyone a chance to live up to your God-given potential. (Applause.)

 


FACT SHEET: The U.S. Commitment to Cookstoves in Africa

In September 2010, U.S. Secretary of State Clinton announced the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a public-private partnership led by the United Nations Foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.  The Alliance’s 100 by 20 goal calls for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020.

On the heels of Secretary Clinton’s visit to Africa this week, seven African nations have joined the Alliance, including Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, and Tanzania as well as the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, which includes four Nigerian federal ministries.

The Problem:  Nearly half of the world’s population – about 3 billion people – cooks their food each day on polluting, inefficient stoves. Exposure to smoke from traditional cookstoves and open fires is the fifth worst health risk factor in poor countries and leads to nearly 2 million premature deaths of mostly women and young children each year (more than twice the mortality from malaria).

More than 70% of Africans burn solid fuels such as wood, charcoal or crop residues for their home cooking needs.  The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year more than one quarter of the worldwide deaths associated with exposure to cookstove smoke occur in Africa – that equates to more than 550,000 deaths in Africa attributable to cookstoves.  Also according to WHO, out of the 23 countries in the world where cookstoves represent more than 4 percent of the national burden of disease*, 21 are in Africa.

New Alliance Countries By The Numbers**
Country Percent of population cooking with solid fuels Deaths per year Percent national burden of disease attributable to solid fuels
Burkina Faso More than 95 21,500

(6th highest figure in Africa)

8.5

(highest in the world)

Ethiopia More than 95 56,700

(2nd highest figure in Africa)

4.9
Kenya 63 13,000 2.9
Lesotho 83 400 0.8
Nigeria 67 79,000

(highest figure in Africa)

3.8
Rwanda More than 95 8,100 5.8 (7th highest in the world)
Tanzania More than 95 27,500

(4th highest figure in Africa)

4.9

 

A Global Alliance:  The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (Cleancookstoves.org) is working with public, private, and non-profit partners to help overcome market barriers and achieve large-scale production, deployment, and use of clean stoves and fuels in the developing world.  The Alliance comprises a rapidly growing list of nearly 100 public, private, philanthropic, NGO, academic, and other partners, including the governments of Norway, Denmark, El Salvador, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Malta, Peru, and the United Kingdom. The Ethiopian Government has an ambitious national effort to address the risks associated with cookstoves, and many leading partners of this sector are active in Ethiopia, including:  UNHCR, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), Project Gaia, and Bosch-Siemens.  World Vision is piloting other improved stoves in Ethiopia.

U.S. Government Commitment:  The United States Government has committed more than $50 million to the Alliance over five years. Participating U.S. agencies include: The State Department, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services (National Institutes of Health; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and the U.S. Agency for International Development. The U.S. Government is mobilizing financial resources, providing top-level U.S. experts, and leveraging research and development tools to help the Alliance achieve its 100 by 20 target. Other U.S. agencies also are considering investments in this sector.

*According to the World Health Organization (WHO), burden of disease quantifies mortality and morbidity due to a given disease or risk factor.

**Numbers according to WHO.

Africa: U.S. Government Cookstoves Activity by Agency

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):  Working with the Alliance, CDC has begun investments on health evaluation related to clean and safe cookstoves in Kenya.  This effort will evaluate the introduction of new improved stoves in Nyanza Province, Kenya on reducing household pollution as a risk factor for childhood pneumonia and low birth weight.  In addition, this evaluation will provide critical information on stove acceptability, sustainability, and scalability of introducing new and improved stoves in rural Kenya.

Department of Energy (DOE):  DOE is partnering with World Vision on a project in Ethiopia (FY09-FY11) to develop a modification to the Berkeley-Darfur Stove, enabling it to work better with Ethiopian pots and cooking methods.  The modified stove is low-cost and can be easily assembled locally in large numbers to provide local employment.  Furthermore, the modified stove has proven to be comparable to or better than other competing stove products, according to third party tests conducted with Ethiopian women cooks.

Department of State:  State is leveraging diplomatic channels to engage new partners in Africa.  These include outreach to governments as well as private, non-governmental, and multi-lateral partners.  Several U.S. embassies in Africa are working with local cookstoves efforts, including in Ethiopia, Lesotho, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Tanzania.  The State Department leads the U.S. federal interagency discussions and coordination with the Alliance, and also coordinates diplomatic dialogues related to global partnerships, health, women’s issues, climate change, and the environment.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):  During her February 2011 visit to East Africa, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson promoted the use of clean cookstoves.  The EPA-led Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA) has 175 African partners that work in 21 countries and which will be integrated with the Alliance.  In 2010, PCIA Partners reported selling more than 800,000 clean and efficient cookstoves in Africa.  Specific activities include:  current scale-up projects in Ethiopia and Kenya; earlier pilot projects in Ghana, Mauritania, Nigeria, and Uganda (more than100,000 sales reported in 2010), including the first cookstove organization to be certified under the Gold Standard to receive voluntary carbon credits; in-house testing of many stoves sold in Africa; numerous stove testing workshops in Africa; and development of a decision support tool for choosing appropriate clean stove technologies.

National Institutes of Health (NIH):  The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has begun a major 5-year study in Ghana to quantify improvements in birth weight and childhood pneumonia from a randomized intervention trial of improved cookstoves during the second trimester of pregnancy.  The study is being led by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in partnership with Kintampo Health Research Center of the Ghana Health Service.

Peace Corps:  Peace Corps Volunteers in Africa are working with communities to promote the use of improved cookstoves in 11 nations:  Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal, Togo, and Zambia.

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID):  USAID cookstoves activities in Africa include:  numerous field tests to determine local acceptance of fuel-efficient stoves in East Africa, especially in humanitarian settings; work with UN agencies to address household energy issues in humanitarian settings; work with Kenyatta University in Kenya to test the efficiency of stoves USAID hopes to promote in the Mt. Kenya and Mara-mau regions, areas rich in biodiversity and where local populations currently lack access to stove models marketed in urban markets; and partnership with World Wildlife Foundation to promote the use of efficient cookstoves in the area of Goma, Congo to cut charcoal use in half (most wood for charcoal production is extracted from the nearby Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

 


Additional African Nations to Join the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

Secretary Clinton Helps Secure Seven Additional African Nations to Join the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

On the heels of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s visit to Africa, seven African nations have joined the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. The governments of Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda and Tanzania, together with the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, committed to join the public-private partnership to help save lives around the world.

These new Alliance partners have set goals to collectively reach nearly 20 million African homes with clean stoves and fuels by 2020, and ultimately help achieve the Alliance’s 100 by 20 goal, which calls for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020.

The new African members join the nearly 100 partners which include national governments, UN agencies, private companies and non-governmental organizations already mobilized to overcome market barriers and achieve global-scale production, deployment, and use of clean cookstoves in the developing world.

Encouraging the development and use of clean cooking solutions in cultures, communities, and countries throughout the developing world is consistent with the core principles of U.S. foreign policy and development efforts, which focus on improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable populations. The U.S. government has committed more than $50 million to the Alliance over five years. With the help of more than six federal agencies, the U.S. government is mobilizing financial resources, providing top-level U.S. experts, and leveraging research and development tools to help the Alliance achieve its 100 by 20 target.

On September 21, 2010, Secretary Clinton announced the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a public-private partnership led by the UN Foundation, to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. In May 2011, academy-award winning actress Julia Roberts became Global Ambassador of the Alliance.

To learn more about the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, visit www.cleancookstoves.org or http://www.state.gov/s/partnerships/cleancookstoves/.

Check out our other posts about the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves:

‘Clean stoves’ would save lives, cut pollution – USA Today Op-Ed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Julia Roberts

Unveiling of the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action

Secretary Clinton: Remarks for NIH Cookstove Workshop

Secretary Clinton: Remarks With Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal After Their Meeting

 


Secretary Clinton: Remarks for NIH Cookstove Workshop

 Click here for State.gov video of Secretary Clinton’s remarks.

I am delighted to send greetings to each of you here tonight. I especially want to thank Francis Collins of the National Institutes of Health and Pilar Nores de Garcia of Peru for your leadership on this issue. This wouldn’t have been possible without your commitment.

When we launched the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, the United States government committed more than $50 million – nearly half of it from the National Institutes of Health. We all know that cookstove smoke leads to twice as many deaths as malaria; we all know the human, economic, and environmental toll this takes on people – especially women and children – throughout the developing world.

This is what motivates all of us to take urgent and comprehensive action. But if we’re going to succeed, we need more contributions from a wide range of international partners. And we need to show the public how investments in cleaner stoves and fuels will improve health and save lives. We need to convince others to act with the same sense of urgency.

So there is a lot to be done, and that’s why I am thrilled that all of you are coming together to help answer these critical questions. Thank you all for your dedication to this issue.

 


‘Clean stoves’ would save lives, cut pollution

Secretary Clinton with Julia Roberts. Photo courtesy The Oprah Winfrey Network

Secretary Clinton with Julia Roberts. Photo courtesy The Oprah Winfrey Network

 

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Julia Roberts, Global Ambassador for the Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, co-authored this op-ed published by USA Today on May 6, 2011. The full text of the op-ed follows and can be read on usatoday.com here. More information on Ms. Roberts’ role with the Alliance can be found here.

This Mother’s Day weekend, most of us will enjoy a home-cooked meal — maybe even breakfast in bed. We’ll probably take it for granted that the meal was prepared in a clean kitchen, where the air is safe to breathe. But for nearly half of the world’s population, cooking at home is a deeply dangerous act. In fact, it poses one of the most serious health risks in the developing world, and it’s a major threat to the environment.

The reason? Smoke from dirty stoves or open flames. Some 3 billion people live in homes where food is cooked on stoves or over fires burning fuels like wood, dung, charcoal, or agricultural waste. These fuels produce toxic fumes, and in poorly ventilated homes, the mix of chemicals can reach 200 times the level that the EPA considers safe to breathe. It can cause lung cancer, pneumonia, cataracts, low birth weight, even death. According to the World Health Organization, smoke from dirty stoves and fires kills almost 2 million people each year, most of them women and children. It kills more than twice as many people as malaria.

Impact on climate

The impact goes beyond people’s health.  Burning these fuels produces carbon dioxide, methane, and black carbon, which contribute to climate change. And cutting down trees for fuel causes natural habitats to dry up, forests to disappear, and soil to erode.

On average, women and girls in developing countries spend up to 20 hours a week searching for fuel — time they could spend going to school, running a business, or raising their families. And if they live in areas of conflict, leaving home to search for fuel puts them at great risk of assault or rape.

All of this presents a major challenge — but it can be solved. If we can get cleaner, more efficient cookstoves in wider use throughout the developing world, we can save lives, cut back on carbon emissions, and create new economic opportunities for millions of women.

Fortunately, the technology for clean cookstoves already exists. Several companies are already producing them, and countries like India, China, and Mexico have begun to introduce them in national  programs. But the uptake has been slow, because there hasn’t been a widescale effort to coordinate these efforts, or to make the stoves affordable in the developing world.

Multiple supporters

That’s why we are excited about the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a partnership led by the United Nations Foundation that brings together governments, multilateral, private sector, and non-profit organizations. The Alliance will drive research and development efforts to make new stoves that are more durable, affordable, and tailored to the cooking needs of specific cultures. It will help bring down costs, trade barriers, and other obstacles that have prevented cookstoves from being used widely. And it will promote the benefits of clean stoves, to encourage more families to start using them. A major goal for the Alliance is for 100 million households to take up clean cookstoves by 2020.

Reaching this goal will save lives and reduce pollution. It will also give people, especially women and girls, a new tool to create new economic opportunities for themselves. With the right training and a small upfront investment, women can start new businesses selling, repairing and distributing clean stoves.

As we celebrate the mothers in our own lives, let us help millions more by contributing to this cause. Currently, five federal agencies are working with more than 60 foreign governments, nonprofits, international organizations and businesses to take action around this issue. Experts are laying out strategies. Knowledge is being shared. And resources are being committed. But the Alliance is always looking for more governments, non-profits and private companies to partner with.

By supporting these efforts, we can work to improve health around the world, generate economic opportunity, and fight climate change — and that would be a Mother’s Day gift to remember.

 
 

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