From the Network – December 2017

Dear Friends,

I’ve just returned from Nairobi, where my team and I were co- hosting the fourth annual Safe Access to Fuels and Energy (SAFE) Humanitarian Workshop. It was an extraordinary event, featuring four days of rich discussions and learnings about energy access for crisis affected populations and the humanitarian sector that supports them.

As a growing number of people’s lives are disrupted by political and economic instability and natural disasters, there has been a surge of interest among practitioners in the challenges and opportunities around providing affordable energy services in humanitarian settings. This year’s SAFE workshop was evidence of this interest, attracting 140 participants from 20 countries – including many newcomers — representing humanitarian agencies, national governments, NGOs, academia, finance institutions, and the private sector. We were also fortunate to have four refugee representatives from the Dadaab camp in Kenya, who shared their views on how important energy access is in their lives.

On the last day of the workshop, the UN Foundation held a first-of-its-kind side event on the role of clean energy mini-grids in refugee camp settings. We were joined by executives from Schneider Electric and PowerGen Renewable Energy, as well as other members of the Practitioner Network and Mini-Grids Partnership, all of whom lent their valuable industry perspective on deploying mini-grids and hydrid energy solutions in refugee camps.

I would like to thank all our Practitioner Network members and partners who contributed to this important event. And on behalf of the energy access team here at UN Foundation, I wish you all a happy and energizing holiday season.


Jem Porcaro

Senior Director, Energy Access

United Nations Foundation