More than 65 million individuals around the world today have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict and violence, and while many individuals and organizations hope to provide aid and relief through food, shelter, and medicine, a crucial resource is often overlooked – safe and reliable energy, light, and fuel for cooking.
The United Nations Foundation organized a webinar on “Decentralized Energy Solutions Focusing on Lighting and Powering in Humanitarian Settings,” in collaboration with the Clean Energy Solutions Center.
Here are four key takeaways from the presentations and moderated discussion:
Mind the energy gap: Energy must be formally recognized as a priority at these policy levels to support meaningful, large-scale interventions in the field.
Planning short vs. long term: In humanitarian crises, immediate needs often limit practitioners’ ability to plan for the long term, but this approach is increasingly inefficient in a world where many refugees are living in camps for several years.
Show me the data: There is currently a dearth of data available that would help facilitate long-term planning.
Enter the private sector: While many barriers remain, the private sector is already playing a significant role in contributing expertise and skills to a market which is often under-resourced.
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