Chef Jose Andre today joined the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves as "Culinary Ambassador." In this role, he will help to raise awareness of an issue that causes nearly two million deaths to women and children each year: toxic smoke from traditional cooking stoves.
Secretary Clinton, who launched the Alliance a year ago, 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.
Some may wonder why Chef Andres is partnering with the U.S. Government, the United Nations Foundation, actress Julia Roberts, and a rapidly growing list of over 160 other Alliance partners. After witnessing the impact of dirty cooking and living conditions while assisting in post-earthquake humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti, Chef Andres founded World Central Kitchen to provide innovative solutions to alleviate hunger throughout the developing world -- including the deployment of clean and innovative cooking solutions. In his own words, "I have seen this silent killer first hand, and I am therefore honored to join the Alliance helping to raise additional awareness."
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.
I am confident that as Culinary Ambassador, Chef Jose Andres will be an instrumental partner in realizing a future in which open fires and dirty stoves are replaced by clean, efficient and affordable stoves and fuels all over the world.
And his commitment won't just save lives, it will improve the lives and livelihoods of countless women across the globe.
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.