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Americas Exclusive Health World

Julia Roberts for clean cook stoves

Washington,May28,() Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Oscar-winning actress Julia Roberts, have joined an international effort promoting clean, safe and efficient cook stoves.

“Nearly two million people around the world — mostly women and children — die each year from an activity that many of us take for granted: cooking for our families,” Roberts said in a statement. “I am proud to stand with Secretary Clinton to work to reduce the senseless and preventable deaths from unsafe cooking conditions in developing countries and I look forward to contributing to the important work of the Global Alliance for Clean Cook stoves.”

Today, nearly half the world’s population – close to 3 billion people – will eat meals cooked over fires that use charcoal, wood, or even animal waste for fuel,” said United Nations Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth. “A year from now, 1.9 million of those people will be dead. Their death certificates will cite pneumonia or lung cancer, but the underlying cause is exposure to cooking smoke. Unsafe cooking conditions are the fifth greatest threat to health in poor developing countries, yet nobody knows about it. The needed resources cannot be mobilized to confront this crisis if the world community doesn’t recognize it as such. Thanks to Julia Roberts, and others who will follow her lead, that task just got a little easier.”

The Alliance’s goal is for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020, as a first step toward universal adoption. To achieve its ‘100 by 20’ goal, the Alliance will promote stove standards; spur innovative financing mechanisms; champion the cause across the donor and development communities; develop indoor air quality guidelines; tackle global tax and tariff barriers; field test clean stoves and fuels; and develop a research agenda for key issues such as health, climate, technology, and fuels.