The Yemen Emergency Electricity Access Project (YEEAP), funded by the World Bank and implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), has sought to build an inclusive and sustainable solar market. By financing the private sector to extend its reach into critically suffering rural areas, targeting lower-income and more vulnerable households while improving the quality of off-grid energy products and services, and providing urgently needed access to electricity in Yemen.

The project is designed to improve access to electricity in rural and peri-urban areas in Yemen and to plan for the restoration of the country’s power sector. The project expects to provide 3.5 million people, of whom an estimated 48% (1,680,000) are women and girls, with new or improved services to electricity. It will also provide around 700 public service facilities and 100 schools with new or improved electricity services, helping Yemenis to have better access to critical services.

In collaboration with local entities, the project engages eligible, regulated Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) to help add small-scale energy products to their portfolios. The project created financing windows for high-quality, small-scale solar solutions and provided partial subsidies to beneficiaries to make these systems affordable. The project also engaged solar suppliers and installers to offer grant-financed solar energy systems to critical service facilities in the same geographical areas.

The project also provides technical assistance, capacity building, and other market-strengthening measures to make the solar market in Yemen more inclusive and sustainable. This includes providing technical training and capacity building to firms along the solar supply chain (financial institutions, retailers, installers, and other service providers); technical assistance to the financial sector to develop de-risking mechanisms for commercial lending for solar; and the introduction and dissemination of new technical standards.

The four-year project will finance distributed solar solutions to provide urgently needed access to electricity in Yemen. These solutions include:

  1. Provide electrical access to Rural and Peri-urban Areas. Objectives include:
  • Scale up the provision of basic pico-solar systems for vulnerable rural and peri-urban households, building on the success of both the in-kind grant support mechanism targeting smaller, more working capital-constrained MFIs and the results-based financing mechanism targeting larger, less capital-constrained MFIs.
  • Introduces a new component for larger, medium-sized household solar systems.

2. Provide electricity for Critical Services Facilities. Objectives include:

  • Providing solar systems to more primary health centers/units, including maternal and reproductive health facilities, and expanding to health facilities in districts that require larger budgets per facility.
  • Scaling up the provision of solar solutions for drinking water wells as the demand for clean, potable water is huge and urgent and requires additional interventions all over Yemen, including supporting activities, such as the provision of submersible pumps, solar panels, water storage tanks, small desalination units, small water networks, and water meters, as well as capacity-building support to water user associations (WUAs) in collaboration with WASH and women collaboratives.
  • Providing solar systems to additional girls’ and boys’ schools, in collaboration with ongoing education sector interventions.

The project is expected to run for three and half years. The project will finance distributed solar solutions to support access to electricity supply and prepare for the post-conflict restoration of critical rural public services affected by the protracted civil conflict and global COVID-19 pandemic while strengthening the capacity of local institutions to provide continuity, resilience to shocks, and sustainability of service delivery in a post-conflict Yemen.

NO Comment 24th February 2024

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