Active Project

Sustainable energy can bring light and hope to the world’s poorest communities.  That’s why we’re supporting refugees to access energy so they can break their reliance on aid and rebuild their lives.

The Challenge

Refugee communities in Jordan and Rwanda need energy to power their homes, schools and health clinics. Families need it for earning an income, for cooking and studying.

Yet, in most refugee camps, electricity is scarce and expensive. The average displaced household will spend at least $200 per year on fuel, which amounts to $2.1 billion each year worldwide.

Lack of access to energy stops refugees from being able to rebuild their lives and keeps them reliant on aid. That’s where our sustainable energy projects come in.

“I believe that if there was electricity in this camp my business would grow. That would mean better opportunities for me and my son. I would be able to pay for him to get a good education and have a brighter future.”

Chantal – Tailor, Gihembe refugee camp, Rwanda

The Ingenious Solution

Working in partnership with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and supported by the IKEA Foundation, the Renewable Energy for Refugees project will help refugees and their host communities access finance, training, technology and expertise to facilitate renewable energy powering homes, schools, health clinics and businesses, enabling refugees to flourish and move from reliance on aid to economic independence.

In Jordan, we’re working with 10,000 refugees and their host communities living in Irbid. 80% of Syrian refugees living in Jordan live below the poverty line and struggle to pay monthly bills, with rent and utilities being their highest costs. Increasing energy access through solar-powered water heating and electricity systems to homes and schools will save refugees vital money and ensure they can live a better life.

In Rwanda, we’re working with 50,000 refugees in the Kigeme, Nyabiheke, and Gihembe refugee camps. Refugee communities are mainly Congolese and have fled the civil war and internal conflict. There is currently very little energy infrastructure in and around the camps, which makes cooking meals, studying at night and growing businesses extremely difficult.

  • We’re helping to bring clean renewable energy to refugee communities, for lighting, cooking and powering tools and appliances. Renewable energy will also power homes, schools, health clinics and businesses.
  • This energy access will allow entrepreneurs to start their own businesses, flourish and move from reliance on aid to economic independence.
  • Street lighting in camps in Rwanda will also help communities (especially women and children) feel safer and enable them to extend their business hours, increasing their income.
  • The project is also supporting refugees and their host communities to access finance and training, which will help them make the most of the electricity and use it to support their families and businesses.

Location: Jordan and Rwanda
Funder: IKEA Foundation
Partners: UNHCR

“The thing that makes me strong is getting an education. My favourite subject is biology. When I grow up I would like to be a medical doctor, because around here I see people who have health issues, and I wish to help them.”

Kirakunda – 16-year-old student, Gihembe refugee camp, Rwanda

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