World: EURELECTRIC and UNHCR announce partnership to offer sustainable and clean energy to refugees

EURELECTRIC, the European electricity association, and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, today announced a partnership to help provide reliable, sustainable and clean energy for refugees, as part of their global efforts to tackle climate change.

“Improving access to clean electricity means bringing energy independence and security to vulnerable refugees, while also providing an important tool in the battle against climate change and global poverty,” said Kristian Ruby, EURELECTRIC Secretary General.

“The lack of energy is a major challenge in many refugee operations around the world. Our partnership with EURELECTRIC will bring some critical expertise to help provide sustainable and environmentally friendly power solutions for refugees, with a very positive and concrete impact on their daily life,” said Andrew Harper, Director of the Division of Programme Support and Management at UNHCR.

“Lighting significantly improves safety and creates opportunities for refugees to live with greater dignity. This partnership will also create important opportunities for the refugee and local communities through knowledge transfer. This is key to guarantee that the renewable technology used on the ground can be sustained on the long run,” he added.

Energy needs in refugee settings are massive and require innovative renewable technologies for lighting, power and livelihood. In the midst of responding to humanitarian crises, access to safe, reliable and clean energy for displaced people can be difficult to achieve. Accordingly to UNHCR, 65.6 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced in 2016. Some 22.5 million of them are refugees who were forced to flee their home country due to war or persecution and who are often directly exposed to the effects of climate change.

Note to editors

About EURELECTRIC:

EURELECTRIC, the Union of the Electricity Industry, is the sector association representing the common interests of the electricity industry at the pan-European level. EURELECTRIC represents 3,500 companies across Europe with an aggregate turnover of €200 billion. It covers all major issues affecting the sector, from electricity generation and markets, to distribution networks, customers, as well as environment and sustainability issues.

About UNHCR:

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. UNHCR safeguards the rights and well-being of refugees and stateless people. In more than six decades, the agency has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives. UNHCR is on the front lines of the world’s major humanitarian crises, including Syria, Iraq, Central African Republic, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and countless other emergencies.

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