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In Jordan, an empowering solution for UN-run refugee camps

...In Jordan, the UN and its partners have hooked up the first solar-powered refugee camps in the world – a test as to whether the international aid community can step beyond the emergency relief approach and provide sustainable solutions that benefit refugees, host communities, and the environment long after each crisis ends...In May, the Azraq camp became the first solar-powered refugee camp in the world, with a 2.5 megawatt photovoltaic plant funded by the IKEA Foundation providing electricity to 20,000 refugees for the very first time. The UN is currently working on a project to expand the plant’s capacity to provide electricity to the entire camp by the end of the year. In November, Zaatari followed suit, with a 12.9 megawatt solar farm funded by the German government providing 14 hours of electricity per day to more than 80,000 Syrian refugees...The power plants have a lasting impact on Syrian refugees. The construction of the solar plants has employed more than 125 refugees, many of whom are staying on as full-time staff managing and maintaining the power stations...The projects also go far in helping the environment in the host county, Jordan. The Zaatari plant will cut carbon dioxide emissions from the camp by 13,000 tons per year – the equivalent to 30,000 barrels of oil – while the plant in Azraq brings a CO2 emissions savings of 2,370 tons...

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