Energy’s Changing Role in Relief Aid

Conflict and disasters have increased human displacement to record levels worldwide, requiring efficient distribution of humanitarian aid. Focusing on renewables for provision of energy services could promote sustainability, explains a team of writers representing the Payne Institute at the Colorado School of Mines, the World Bank, Chatham House and Energy Peace Partners. “At present, operations overwhelmingly rely on diesel for transport and electricity generation, and wood and charcoal for household cooking, which displaced people often buy or collect,” the writers note. “Such practices outlast initial emergencies as refugee settlements grow into small cities and peacekeeping operations drag on for years with impacts on health, environment and safety.” Energy is essential for large populations of refugees and displaced people, and host countries seek to conserve their own limited resources. The writers, reviewing some innovative programs and funding mechanisms, conclude that the aid and peacekeeping sectors could lead on delivery of new energies. – YaleGlobal