Most Haitian families are caught in the poverty – respiratory disease – deforestation trap of the country’s heavy reliance on charcoal for cooking. The Public-Private Alliance Foundation (PPAF), a non-profit based in New York, promotes a business approach for poverty alleviation, and since the 2010 earthquake, has focused on Haiti and on ways to help families exit that trap. 

Established with support from United Nations ambassadors from Madagascar, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, PPAF has conducted various development activities in these countries, and convenes seminars at the UN and elsewhere to bring attention to energy and climate change, sustainable development, and gender and public health issues. 

PPAF conducts research, acts as a voice for clean cooking and women’s empowerment, and takes steps toward commercialization of low-cost cookstoves fueled by ethanol from Haitian sugarcane and other agricultural sources, as well as biogas and solar power. 

Organizations including Rotary, churches, businesses, Project Gaia, and the Haitian-American business group SiMACT helped launch cookstove fieldwork at several sites, and PPAF has cooperated with distillers and farmers, social entrepreneurships, and nonprofits active in Haiti.   Research for the Inter-American Development Bank focused on ethanol fuel production, cookstove use, and building greater awareness of possibilities in the sector, including turning waste products from distillation into additional value streams.  Research for the UN Environment Programme enabled PPAF and Haitian company D&E Green Enterprises to jointly design and consumer-test a new stove named “Recho EcoVit” - ecological and fast.  

Currently PPAF is working on the fuel side.  This includes providing advice and guidelines for small-scale distillers to improve capacity and profitability in moving from beverage alcohol to fuel-grade ethanol, and collaborating with owners to determine priorities and seek funding for distillery upgrades.  Regarding biogas, PPAF draws from innovations by Solar C³ities and HEART in Haiti and works with KDCK, a Haitian nonprofit, to install low-cost biodigesters that use kitchen, agricultural, or animal waste for family and school cooking.  Also PPAF collaborates with Solavore LLC and its Haiti representative concerning small solar ovens. 

PPAF also promotes the stoves and fuel, educational materials, and relevant events of other organizations.   This includes the prize-winning documentary “Death by a Thousand Cuts” which explores the clandestine trade in charcoal from the Dominican Republic to Haiti.  PPAF encourages awareness and purchase of improved charcoal stoves from D&E Green and charcoal briquettes made from sugarcane bagasse by Carbon Roots International.  PPAF also promotes reforestation by “A Dollar a Tree for Haiti” and microfinance and remittance institutions dealing in clean energy solutions, such as Arc Finance.  These efforts are accomplished mainly through the PPAF e-newsletter and through seminars, for example at the UN during sessions at the Commission on the Status of Women.

Being a partner in the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is very important to PPAF.   It is a platform for information, networking and fundraising.  Membership provides identity in relation to contacts and collaborations.  PPAF also maintains linkages with the UN Economic & Social Council, the UN Department of Public Information, the UN Global Compact, the Global Gender & Climate Alliance, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials, and the UN Association of the USA and its Council of Organizations.  Through these partnerships, PPAF is able to offer and receive support relevant to the Global Alliance, including speaking engagements and references that connect cookstoves and international policy concerns, in the context of the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

For further information please visit the website www.ppafoundation.org and on its Welcome page the short video “Cookstoves in Haiti: Recent Work and Collaborations by PPAF.”