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The clean cooking sector is underpinned by limited prioritization in the policy-making sphere and a chronic lack of financing. Numerous countries in the region have yet to establish clean cooking targets. SEforAll estimates that global investment levels account for less than 3 per cent of the annual requirement of US$4.5 billion to achieve universal access to clean cooking by 2030. While the investment required seems substantial, the explicit and implicit costs of inaction on health, gender and the environment could be more than 500 times higher.3 Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) on universal access to clean cooking provides a blueprint for a complete transition to clean fuels and technology. Embedding the SDG 7 clean cooking target in national energy policies as well as the COVID-19 recovery stimulus will help avoid these costs while simultaneously contributing to the achievement of multiple SDGs on health, poverty, gender equality, air pollution and climate change. 

In this context, ESCAP conducted a global review to inform policymakers on the real-life impact of clean cooking programmes and policies. The review covered 46,115 households across 26 low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and the Latin America and Caribbean region. 

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