Charcoal is produced all over the Haitian countryside, with more than 90 percent of Haitian energy needs met through the use of firewood and charcoal.  In Port-au-Prince, at least 30 percent of family income is spent on purchasing charcoal for cooking.  In addition to the economic burden of charcoal dependency, charcoal production has devastating environmental consequences for the entire country.  Charcoal production begins with the felling or pruning of lives trees, which has contributed to mass deforestation throughout Haiti, in turn increasing soil erosion and leaving Haiti more vulnerable to severe weather, including flash floods and mudslides.  Furthermore, charcoal use exposes women and children to “indoor air pollution,” which leads to respiratory illness and approximately 3,000 premature deaths in Haiti each year.

To address these problems, USAID implements the Improved Cooking Technology Program.  In close consultation with the Government of Haiti, we are working with the private sector and Haitian civil society to develop a thriving market for clean cooking solutions, including liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and improved biomass cook stoves.


USAID’s program aims to create a sustainable market for clean and affordable cooking solutions which limit deforestation and reduce “indoor air pollution.”


  • Identify a cook stove technology that demonstrates the strongest performance, based on efficiency, emissions, and safety
  • Develop a manufacturing base of entrepreneurs and/or companies to establish reliable production of the new cook stoves and create effective distribution channels for the products
  • Strengthen the legal and regulatory framework for liquid petroleum gas to encourage private sector investment in the sector
  • Build demand for improved cook stoves with social marketing and behavior change communications campaigns to educate consumers on the benefits of the selected cook stoves and the negative consequences of charcoal use
  • Retrain charcoal workers and integrate them into the production or distribution of the new cook stoves or into alternative businesses
  • Develop financing solutions to enable consumers to purchase the new cook stoves
  • Provide business development support to biomass stove manufacturers and retailers to improve the sustained marketing and sales of the product


  • Since October 2012, over 11,500 improved charcoal stoves were sold in Port-au-Prince (PAP).
  • The project has operationalized 36 sales points in PAP for distributing improved charcoal stoves.
  • A model liquid petroleum gas (LPG) kitchen is operational at the Kenscoff public schools and serves lunch to 600 students.
  • Four hardware stores in PAP now import commercial LPG burners, household LPG stoves, and stove parts.
  • Sixty-five technicians were trained on LPG stove repair and maintenance.
  • Partnered with SONAPI industrial park and a Haitian propane gas distributor to convert the park’s public dining area from charcoal to LPG, saving about 520 tons of charcoal annually. 

Additional Information

Budget: $8.2 million
Life of Project: January 2012 – January 2015
Implementing Partner: Chemonics International, Inc.

Last updated: April 21, 2014

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