Key success factors and obstacles for FAO energy projects in humanitarian settings


Through its work under the Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) programme, FAO has contributed to improving resilience and livelihoods among refugees and internally displaced people in 14 countries. This evaluation seeks to inform future programming through a review of FAO’s energy-in-emergency portfolio in three Eastern African countries: Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan. Activities carried out during the evaluation included:

  • exploring the energy access situation in humanitarian settings and its intersections with issues surrounding gender, conflict and natural resources;
  • identifying results and lessons from past interventions delivered under FAO’s SAFE initiative;
  • mapping the challenges that affect energy markets in humanitarian contexts;
  • developing recommendations for innovative programming options for SAFE in Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan, informed by the findings of the other parts of the study.

In Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan, most refugees and displaced persons rely on energy resources that are unsustainable and that pose high risks to their health and well-being. In particular, the lack of access to energy for cooking poses a high security risk for refugees and internally displaced people. Many households (HH) are highly dependent on firewood collected from areas around the settlements to supplement the fuel which they receive from humanitarian agencies or purchase through markets. Intense demand for this natural resource has led to the degradation of forests and conflicts with the host communities.

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