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Energy for Refugees

EnDev Leaves No One Behind

Access to energy is essential if we are to provide the most vulnerable populations with electricity, sustainable cooking technologies, clean water, and economic opportunities. By working with the private sector and civil society, EnDev is supporting the development of a local market for renewable energy services in several refugee camps and host communities. In this way, interventions aim to leave no one behind on the path to universal energy access.

Creating sustainable markets in fragile contexts

In remote host communities, people often rely on harmful energy sources for their daily needs, such as charcoal, wood, kerosene, and diesel generators. Humanitarian organisations frequently overlook energy access, and when they do address it, there is a tendency to rely on low-quality freely distributed products. This approach can disrupt the development of local markets. EnDev empowers local entrepreneurs and facilitates the creation of sustainable markets. This approach enables displaced populations to access clean energy technologies for lighting, charging devices, cooking, and starting small businesses. Through successful projects, EnDev builds a strong foundation for the long-term sustainability of these systems. One of EnDev’s transformative interventions, the Smart Communities Coalition Innovation Fund, aims to bring a paradigm shift in humanitarian settings by introducing innovations that provide clean drinking water, electricity, and e-mobility in Kenya and Uganda. EnDev supports over twenty countries, twelve of which have significant populations displaced by conflict or natural disasters.

Read more about EnDev’s market-based approach
A large group of refugees and host community members continues to rely on traditional or artisanal cooking approaches. In all its activities, EnDev strives to leave no one behind, and thus to target interventions particularly to these most vulnerable groups. © Christian Borchard/GIZ

Highlights from EnDev’s interventions

  • Enabling energy access through Demand-Side Subsidies (DSS)
    EnDev’s DSS pilot in Uganda will benefit refugees, host communities and other vulnerable rural areas by reducing the price of quality-certified sustainable energy devices to the end user.
  • Making clean drinking water affordable for refugees in south-western Uganda
    A community-based project in Uganda provides clean drinking water to a refugee settlement using containerised solar-powered water pumping and purification technology.
  • Making everyday life easier: EnDev facilitates clean cooking in Kakuma
    EnDev has introduced electric pressure cookers as a sustainable alternative to biomass cooking in the Kakuma refugee settlement in Kenya.


  • In 2023, EnDev activities reached 67,970 refugees, internally displaced people, and host communities

Key Documents

  • Behavioural Change Camaign: Promoting improved cooking solutions in Kakuma refugee camp
  • Smart Communities Coalition Innovation Fund (SCCIF): Winning Solutions for Energy, Connectivity and Digital Tools in Refugee Settings
  • Humanitarian Energy: Energy for micro-enterprises in displacement settings

Malish Allen: Solar power for refugee settlements