More than 1.3 billion people lack access to modern electricity services. 2.8 million people spend several hours every day grinding grains, building fires, fetching water and collecting fuel for their cooking and heating stoves. 4.3 million premature deaths occur each year as a result of household air pollution caused by burning solids the traditional way. Without access to sustainable energy, development goals cannot be achieved.
By developing infrastructure that provides sustainable, reliable and affordable access to modern energy services, people, communities and countries can significantly improve their living standards and economic status. In particular, increasing access to modern energy services can yield an expansion of job markets and business activities; it can cause improvements in health, gender equality, safety and education; and it can contribute to strengthening the resilience against shocks and disasters.
UNDP views access to sustainable energy services as a vehicle to support socio-economic and sustainable human development. UNDP helps increase communities’ access to efficient thermal biomass and biogas solutions as well as to renewable electricity installations. At the national and sub-national level, UNDP provides a range of technical assistance to support policy and regulatory reforms, institutional capacity strengthening, the reduction of financial and investment risks as well as assisting governments to access financial resources. At the global and regional level, UNDP engages in policy advocacy, knowledge codification and sharing, partnership building and active collaboration with multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative.
Currently, UNDP implements 28 energy access projects in 25 countries worldwide, mobilising a total of US$76 million of Global Environment Facility (GEF) resources and leveraging another US$440 million in co-financing.