Private Sector Solutions for Sustainable Development

Investment in sustainable energy solutions for refugees and migrants
UNITAR on behalf of The Global Plan of Action for Sustainable Energy Solutions in Situations of Displacement – Initiative
Session Type
Investment Village
Room number
3rd Floor, Bulding E, Exibition Area
Contact Email
26 October 2018
12:00 - 13:00 Europe/Zurich

The private sector will be a vital partner to public efforts to direct more investment effectively towards sustainable development. This session, organized in the format of investment stakeholders networking breakfasts or luncheons, will be the opportunity for private sector entities – global TNCs, SMEs and Foundations – to present their existing programmes and initiatives in support of sustainable development to the international community.

Today, over 130 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance due to conflict, natural disasters, and other complex global challenges. For many of these people, access to fuel and energy is critical for survival, and how they access it impacts their health, livelihoods, safety, and well-being. Fuel and energy are a precondition for essential activities such as cooking meals, heating shelters, cooling vaccines, charging mobile phones and powering humanitarian operations. Current energy practices in situations of displacement are often inefficient, unsafe for users, and harmful to the surrounding environment. Moreover, institutional humanitarian operations such as water pumping, community lighting, and health clinics rely heavily on unsustainable fossil fuels, costing over 100 million USD annually.

Existing funding mechanisms for energy activities often targets a specific intervention or piece of infrastructure, such as providing solar lanterns or developing hybridised water pumping stations. In general, these programmes do not consider the whole value chain or take a holistic view of the challenges faced by displaced people, local host community or the humanitarian operations. Additionally, the majority of such projects rely on grant funding models, which cannot sustain the intervention when the money runs out. As such there is a need to develop new business models, financial instruments and partnerships with the private sector that deliver energy solutions to the displaced and local host community that produce sustainable impacts, which can be scaled up and replicated elsewhere.


UNITAR on behalf of The Global Plan of Action for Sustainable Energy Solutions in Situations of Displacement – Initiative