The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Restoring electricity for the people of Yemen

A project between UNOPS and the World Bank will help finance off-grid solar systems to power vital basic services and improve access to electricity for vulnerable populations.

Solar power has proved to be the most immediate solution for severe energy shortages throughout Yemen. A booming solar industry has begun to develop, but the affordability of the products still presents a barrier to access for the poor and most vulnerable.

“We are pleased to partner with the World Bank on this renewable energy project, which is critical for the people of Yemen,” said UNOPS Regional Director for the Middle East, Ms. Bana Kaloti. She added: “Together with the local private sector, we will help provide a vital service to those living in rural and peri-urban areas.”

The project aims to restore or improve access to electricity for 1.4 million people in these areas of Yemen, around half of them women. Solar power for critical infrastructure, such as hospitals, schools, water corporations, and rural electricity providers will also be covered under the project.

“The lack of electricity in Yemen has had a devastating impact on Yemenis and the provision of services,” said Dr. Asad Alam, World Bank Group Country Director for Yemen, Egypt, and Djibouti.

“While responding to immediate need, the project will contribute to building a more inclusive and sustainable solar market in Yemen through targeted financing to the private sector which will expand its reach to the poor and vulnerable.”

Funded by a $50 million grant from the International Development Association, the project will rely on the commercial solar market, creating jobs and supporting the local economy.

“Investing in solar will make Yemen’s electricity more resilient, reduce the dependence on fuels for critical service facilities, and create jobs in the private sector,” said Joern Torsten Huenteler, World Bank Energy Specialist and Task Team Leader of the project. “What Yemenis need today more than ever is a quick and innovative energy solution to help ease the crisis.”

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