The UN wants all refugee camps in the world to have electricity or other energy by 2030, and today challenged the international community during the first World Refugee Forum to support that goal.
The challenge of the international organization comes from finding the numbers on the ground: of the nearly 26 million refugees registered worldwide, mostly distributed in poor countries, 90% live in camps that do not have access to sources of energy or electricity.
This situation entails, among other things, high risks of insecurity, especially for women.
“I invite you to join me in this ambitious 'clean energy' challenge so that by 2030 all (refugee) camps and surrounding communities have access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy,” he said. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi in Geneva (Switzerland), where the first global forum on refugees ends today, a meeting promoted since Monday by the UN.
"I don't think we have a choice given the current situation," added UNHCR Special Adviser for Climate Affairs Andrew Harper, adding that the regions most affected by climate change They are also those who receive the most refugees.
For example, according to Andrew Harper, in the Sahel region of Africa, only 31% of the population has access to energy sources, with the UNHCR adviser admitting that “the energy dispute” can also fuel conflict.
Lack of access to water or electricity "adds tension, social stress and unfortunately is often a source of conflict," added Andrew Harper.
Although the UN challenge was formalized today in Geneva, there are already projects on the ground that are improving access to sustainable and clean energy sources, such as Jordan camp solar power plants or the distribution of clean fuels in Niger. .
Alongside sustainability and development issues, access to energy or electricity is also for refugees “a synonym for protection, security,” Joelle Hangi, a refugee from the Kakuma camp in Geneva, reported in Geneva. Kenya.
“We need electricity,” Joelle Hangi said, underlining the “vital” importance of electricity for the safety of people living in refugee camps, especially for women, who are often victims of various types of violence.
Speaking at the forum on Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres argued that the international community must do “much more” to assume responsibility for refugees.
The meeting that ends today in Geneva, the Global Refugee Forum, takes place precisely one year after the United Nations General Assembly's adoption of the Global Refugee Pact.
On December 17 last year, 181 countries voted in favor of this unprecedented pact, which had a major objective: to promote a more robust and systematic response to improve the lives of refugees and the conditions of host countries.
A year later, the Global Refugee Forum emerges, according to UNHCR, as an opportunity “to convert the principle of international responsibility sharing, which is at the root of the Global Compact, into concrete action” and “to strengthen the collective response to refugee crisis ”.
According to UNHCR, this meeting in Geneva marks, according to the organization, the end of a “tumultuous decade” that will be marked by a record number: more than 25 million people worldwide are refugees.
There have never been so many refugees in the world since the UN began to record this type of data.
As early as 2014, the UN admitted that the world was witnessing the largest refugee crisis since World War II.
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