Energy playing a bridging role in the humanitarian-development divide

Energy playing a bridging role in the humanitarian-development divide

The Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with COOPI and SET4Food Initiative organized a full day seminar on the role energy can play in bridging the humanitarian-development divide. The seminar was held at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy on January 18, 2018.

The seminar highlighted the implications of ignoring energy in linkages between humanitarian and development support and how providing access to energy for displaced populations can bridge the humanitarian-development divide. Pertinent case studies from the field were presented. They illustrated how energy needs and related risks and challenges can be better understood, quantified and addressed. The case studies provided an opportunity of sharing various technologies, approaches, methodologies, good practices and lessons learned. They further gave insight into how energy is an enabler in bridging the humanitarian-development divide and how it can contribute to sustainable and durable solutions for affected populations as well as the ways in which current approaches can be improved to achieve this goal.

Demonstration of FAO’s Elisa biochar stove Photos :Sergio Rivero Acha (c) FAO

Senior officers, experts, humanitarian and development practitioners from UN agencies such as FAO, IFAD, UNHCR, WFP and IOM in addition to representatives from EU, COOPI, USAID, GACC, academic institutions as well as NGOs including ICEED Nigeria, OXFAM (Kenya) and FAAM (Chad) participated in the seminar.

Jonas Bervoets, Programme and Operations officer, FAO Nigeria made a presentation on “Coordinating Energy Aid: Maiduguri Local SAFE Working Group” and emphasised the key role of coordinating approaches and programmes in the delivery of humanitarian aid in general and energy aid in particular. Due to the multisectoral challenges of energy access, the coordination mechanism has a key role to play in promoting access to clean cooking energy in the North East, Nigeria.

The SET4Food energy awards were also launched at the seminar. The award invites nominations of best practices on energy in humanitarian/development contexts.

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