Promoting the adoption of clean and sustainable energy in homes and healthcare facilities is critical for reducing health and social inequity in sub-Saharan Africa. Often the same people exposed to dangerous levels of household air pollution and safety risks due to the lack of clean energy for cooking and space heating, cannot access basic health services due to a lack of sustainable electricity in their local health facilities. Inequities are even stronger for women and children. A visual mapping of data on the health and social impacts from the lack of access to clean and sustainable energy in some African countries will be used to launch an interactive discussion on how the health and energy sectors can synergize efforts under a new platform of action on energy and health, building on key messages delivered by working groups at the European Development Days.
In an effort to radically transform the approaches to the clean cooking challenge, the WHO, UNDP and the World Bank, in collaboration with all stakeholders, are developing a new Global Platform on Health and Energy, aiming to dramatically scale up action and financing for clean cooking services. Currently, 3 billion people rely on traditional, polluting cooking practices, causing 3.8 million premature deaths annually, mostly in Africa and Asia. Recalling last year’s HLPF Ministerial Declaration that determined clean cooking access a global priority, participants called for recognizing the situation as a “public health crisis,” placing clean cooking a top national priority, and identifying political champions to drive the agenda forward. A stakeholder consultation meeting is being planned in September to further design the Global Platform on Heath and Energy.
Organizers: WHO, UNDP, WB and UNDESA