Energy provision has been a relative latecomer to policy debates on humanitarian responses to displaced populations and is often dealt with separately from issues related to the provision of water, health, education and other services.
There is increasing recognition among international and national donors (including UNHCR) of the need for technical and financial assistance to bolster national capacity to address environmental challenges in or near refugee-hosting areas and to invest upfront in smart technologies that increase the use of renewable energy and prevent the degradation of the environment.
This reflected in the zero draft of the Global Compact on Refugees which also acknowledges the need for business models for the delivery of clean energy that cater more effectively to refugee and host community needs. This theme considers the extent to which an intersectional policy framework, which creates synergy between energy and other key humanitarian issues such as health, education, security and the environment, and cross-cutting issues such as gender, can offer improved solutions in providing energy to displaced people.
How does energy provision for refugees interface with wider debates around ‘development’ on the one hand and ‘humanitarian assistance’ on the other? What are the policy implications of similarities/differences in energy and other humanitarian services? Are there lessons to be learnt?