I am delighted to send greetings to each of you here tonight. I especially want to thank Francis Collins of the National Institutes of Health and Pilar [peh-LAR] Nores de Garcia of Peru for your leadership on this issue. This wouldn’t have been possible without your commitment.
When we launched the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, the United States government committed more than $50 million – nearly half of it from the National Institutes of Health. We all know that cookstove smoke leads to twice as many deaths as malaria; we all know the human, economic, and environmental toll this takes on people – especially women and children – throughout the developing world.
This is what motivates all of us to take urgent and comprehensive action. But if we’re going to succeed, we need more contributions from a wide range of international partners. And we need to show the public how investments in cleaner stoves and fuels will improve health and save lives. We need to convince others to act with the same sense of urgency.
So there is a lot to be done, and that’s why I am thrilled that all of you are coming together to help answer these critical questions. Thank you all for your dedication to this issue.