The nearest national electric grid to Ethiopia’s Melkadida Refugee Camp is more than 200 kilometres away. Yet there is power. There is light.And there is opportunity. It all started with a visionary partnership between the private sector, host communities and refugees.
IKEA Foundation had started a partnership with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, two years before, and was beginning a transformative approach in the area focusing on livelihood programmes to help foster socio-economic inclusion, sustainable livelihoods and self-reliance.
IKEA Foundation’s investment and the cooperative’s hard work are paying off: electricity from the solar mini grid has already reached approximately 31,230 refugee and host community households, helping create dozens of businesses that benefit the entire population. Additionally, two 30-kilowatt solar pumps are bringing water from a nearby river to irrigate 45 hectares of land, helping local farmers improve both crops and food security for families in the Melkadida area.