The Alliance’s Humanitarian Clean Cooking Fund will support the scale-up cooking solutions that have already proven successful in humanitarian settings, including efficient cooking technologies, alternative fuels, and innovative distribution methods to make options more accessible to crisis-affected people. These solutions are critical to improving health, protecting the environment, and promoting women’s empowerment, but a lack of dedicated and sustained funding prevents these vital programs from scaling up over the long term. Despite its relevance to food security, protection, health, and other areas, energy access for cooking (as well as heating, lighting, and powering) currently holds no formal role in the UN cluster system
for the coordination of humanitarian aid.
Changing the Paradigm
Despite challenges, the role of energy access in humanitarian aid is poised for change. UN Secretary General and Alliance Leadership Council member António Guterres has stated that clean cooking “must play a central role in our work to ensure the realization of human needs and fundamental rights.” Modern and sustainable energy access for all has been included in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7, and an increasing number of private sector actors are already collaborating with aid organizations to bring modern energy solutions to refugee camps and IDP communities.
“The Alliance has been working with our partners at UNHCR, the World Food Programme, and other organizations to assess and better meet the cooking needs and challenges of displaced people around the world,” said Krista Riddley, senior director of gender and humanitarian programs for the Alliance. “The Humanitarian Clean Cooking Fund is designed to help scale up innovative projects already working to address these challenges and to significantly increase the use of cleaner, more efficient cookstoves and fuels in crisis-affected populations.”
As co-chair of the Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) Humanitarian Working Group, the Alliance is leading global efforts to mainstream energy access into humanitarian response through coordination, advocacy, technical assistance, capacity building, and other avenues – ensuring that displaced people are included in SDG 7. The Humanitarian Clean Cooking Fund aims to foster changes in program design and increase investment in alternative fuels and cooking technologies, which will save lives, reduce costs, and promote safety among humanitarian populations.