“There is no food security without the opportunity to access a source of fuel for heating and cooking food”. It is in this way that the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs explains the precious nexus between food and energy. This connection becomes more relevant in a crisis context, where thousands of people are forced to leave their homes due to conflicts, violence or disasters .
The need to cook and preserve food, in order to make it safe, healthy and nutritious, is particularly evident in temporary/quasi permanent/permanent camps or informal settlements and, where according to the “UNHCR 2014 Mid-Year Trends” (UNHCR, 2014), the number of people is increasing (by mid-2014 there were 46.3 million refugees comparing to 42.9 million by the end of 2013).
In this context, an appropriate use of food is one of the pillars to achieve food security and a decent standard of living. To achieve this goal, energy is required. The use of an appropriate technology is the key to obtain an effective and sustainable use of food.
To address this need, COOPI, with Fondazione Politecnico di Milano and the Politecnico di Milano has developed the project SET4food (Sustainable Energy Technologies for Food Utilization), in order to improve efficiency and sustainability of energy solutions for food cooking and preservation in camps and informal settlements for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
The project, co-funded by the European Commission’s Humanitarian aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) aims to enhance the capacity of humanitarian actors in identifying implementing and monitoring efficient and sustainable energy technologies for food utilization in temporary/quasi permanent/permanent camps or informal settlements.
In particular, a Decision Support System (DSS) will lead to the identification of the best appropriate energy technologies depending on the settlement while the Guidelines will present their pros and cons, facilitating the final selection.
Through several pilot projects in four countries (Central African Republic, Haiti, Somalia and Lebanon) the DSS and innovative energy technologies will be tested. The technical knowledge acquired will be transferred to humanitarian actors whose understanding will be further consolidated via e-learning/in-presence training courses and public events.
Infine, una piattaforma di e-learning “open access” sarà presto disponibile in inglese, francese e spagnolo, allo scopo di formare operatori del settore e gli operatori circa l’uso del DSS, e più in generale per migliorare le loro conoscenze sulle tecnologie energetiche per l’utilizzo alimentare.
The project will be presented on July 20 at EXPO at Cascina Triulza, but already on June 12, at the Urban Center, SET4Food will be presented to the public as one of the most significant experience in the field of Food Safety.
All materials are available on www.set4food.org
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