IASC Secretariat: Energy Access in Humanitarian Settings

February 16, 2016   |   New York / Geneva

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This event has concluded, but you may download the presentations here.

10:00-11:30, Room S-2727, Secretariat Building, New York
16:00-17:30, Geneva (venue TBC)

Most of the world's 60 million refugees and internally displaced people rely on traditional solid fuels — wood, coal, animal dung, and agricultural waste — to meet their household needs for cooking, lighting, heating, and powering. Women walk up to 5 hours per day to collect firewood to cook their families’ meals, exposing them to the risk of physical and sexual assault, only to cook over open fires with fuels that increase the risk of respiratory illness. Lack of lighting increases protection risks and prevents children from studying and safely navigating communal areas at night, while lack of power limits communication and impedes livelihoods and innovation. In places like Jordan and Lebanon, energy is needed to heat refugee homes during winter. Institutional energy needs are also a challenge in humanitarian settings. Consistent energy access is required in clinics to preserve vaccines and store blood, and to provide light for nighttime emergency operations and births. Improved institutional cookstoves and fuel are needed to cook meals in large quantities for school feeding programs and nutrition programs.

This IASC briefing will discuss the challenges around energy access in humanitarian settings, and will provide recommendations on how to fill this major gap in humanitarian response. It will also introduce participants to the Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) Humanitarian Working Group, a consortium of UN agencies, humanitarian NGOs, private sector energy companies, and energy non-profits that are working together to facilitate a more coordinated, predictable, timely, and effective response to the fuel and energy needs of crisis-affected populations.


Paul Quigley
, Senior Energy Officer,
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Megan Gerrard
, Senior Program Officer, Gender-based Violence Prevention
Women's Refugee Commission

Katherine Arnold,
Senior Program Associate, Humanitarian
Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
United Nations Foundation

Please see the speakers bios attached to this email.

Logistics information:

Joining remotely/dial-in: for those who cannot attend the meeting in person, please dial the following number +1 917 367 5313 your code will be 20765748 Please remember to put your microphone on mute (not hold) when you are not speaking.

Important security information:
If you wish to participate in this meeting in New York or New York but do not have a badge to enter the UN, please inform the IASC Secretariat by sending us an e-mail including your name and organization by Thursday, 11 February 2016 to iasccorrespondence@un.org. Please bring your passport to present to security on the day of the meeting.

Getting to Room S-2727 (NY):

Room S-2727 is on the 27th floor in the Secretariat Building. Enter the Secretariat building through the 46th st 1st ave visitors entrance. Make your way through the conference hall building to the Secretariat and take the elevator to the 27th floor.

Getting to Room (GVA): TBC

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