A UNDP Yemen project that addresses solar power needs and provides solutions and hope for three frontline conflict communities has been identified as the winner of the acclaimed Ashden Awards for Humanitarian Energy.
About the Project
As part of a UNDP-managed joint project, the Enhanced Rural Resilience in Yemen (ERRY), the initiative addresses two major issues for the communities of Hajjah and Lahj: access to affordable and sustainable energy and providing sustainable income to Yemen's most vulnerable population, women and youth.
We designed and developed a unique, low-cost solar microgrid solution that uses our 3x6 approach for longer term sustainability. Our solar microgrids offer an alternative, clean and renewable energy source that allows rural homes the ability to afford undisrupted electricity for hours.
Even before the crisis in 2015, only 23 per cent of Yemenis had access to energy; the crisis has led to a deeper energy-related problem as fossil fuels continue to surge and embargos make it more difficult to obtain. And the cost of 20 litres of diesel was USD 7. Now, due to an extreme fuel crisis in the country, it can cost upwards of USD 40 for the same amount – making it unaffordable and inaccessible to most Yemenis. The energy shortage also affects businesses including micro, small and medium enterprises and the private sector – all of which have severely suffered due to the lack of alternative energy access.
Together with our partners, we train vulnerable women and youth on how to establish, manage, maintain and promote their solar micro-grid businesses. The businesses help Yemenis move from humanitarian assistance to sustaining themselves and helping their communities with their businesses. The project is well-timed and has come during a period when more limitations and challenges are occurring around simply providing multiple cash grants to sustain households/individuals.
The project has been made possible through a significant partnership with the European Union and partners on the ground.