News from Alianza Shire. January 2019

Dear friends,

Here you can find some information about the project to extend access to energy in the four Shire refugee camps (Ethiopia) and their host communities, involving around 42.000 people until 2021.

Last year on behalf of Alianza Shire the Spanish Official Cooperation (AECID) signed a Delegation Agreement with the Delegation of the European Unionin Addis Ababa.

The new intervention is focusing on three components: grid extension to services and businesses, street lighting, distribution of Solar Home Systemsand creation of related-service businesses.

A local team set up in Shire and Addis Ababa is leading the energy coordination meetings with UNHCR, the Ethiopian Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), the Ethiopian local districts called woredas, and other implementing partners and refugee representatives.

In July, and itdUPM participated in a mission focused on the official launching of the project in Shire and the collection of data for the solar component.

And in October, a group of researchers from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, supported by the Hawassa University, were in Shire for theimplementation of a multisectoral methodology for needs assessment.

Field situation update

The reopening of the border crossing points between Eritrea and Ethiopia has resulted in a significant increase in the number of new arrivals from Eritrea, reaching over 60.000 refugees in the four Shire refugee camps by the end of October.

During the last field mission in October we could notice the current emergency situation in the camps. In Adi-Harush, where the pilot project was implemented, the population duplicated in less than one year.

Also in October an audit conducted by IRC’s Community Wellbeing Initiative (CWI) in coordination with ARRA, UNHCR and other partners, showed therelevance of energy (specially lighting) in order to avoid some risksrelated to the high influx of refugees.

But last week we have received very good news. Ethiopia’s historic new refugee law will now allow refugees to obtain work permits, access primary education, open up access to national financial services, etc.

All these updates on the context have been taken into account for theInception Report that has been presented to the EU, reviewing and adapting the activities and targets of the intervention.

At the beginning of 2019 the mission with the experts from Iberdrola and Signify is expected to take place. At the same time, it is planned that the users’  identification for the Solar Home Systems starts soon.