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Energy for the most vulnerable remains a distant hope


Despite almost a decade of increased attention, delivering sustainable energy solutions for those forced to flee their homes is now further away than ever.

As international delegates gather in Kigali, Rwanda for the Sustainable Energy for All Forum, they are acutely aware the world remains dangerously off-track from meeting the ambition of SDG7 to deliver access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030. But it is refugees and displaced people who are perhaps the most at risk of missing out.

With more than 750 million people still lacking access to electricity and more than 2.5 billion without clean cooking solutions, the forum seeks to drive faster action. But when analysing the progress of delivering energy access to displaced people, instead of seeing improvements, the world is moving further away.

Back in 2015, Chatham House estimated 89 per cent of forcibly displaced people in camps had no access to meaningful electricity supply for lighting, while 77 per cent were reliant on only the most basic fuels – primarily wood – for cooking.

Eight years on, and with more knowledge about the specifics of energy supply and usage in camps, the statistics have worsened, with 94 per cent of forcibly displaced people living in camps now estimated to not have meaningful access to power, and 81 per cent lacking anything other than the most basic fuels for cooking.

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