India Develops Energy Service to Fight Poverty

The Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP), with 700 partners worldwide, was set up as a direct result of the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD).

As part of the Clean Energy Initiative, GVEP will provide energy in all its forms, including electricity. Since it provides light, drives industry and improves health care, electricity is an effective tool to combat poverty and improve livelihoods. GVEP works in 26 countries throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America. India is GVEP’s largest partner base in the world, with more than 125 registered partner organizations from a range of sectors, explained Dr. Harish Hande, Board member of GVEP and Managing Director of Solar Electric Light Company. “GVEP therefore pledges to promote energy as a tool for poverty reduction and economic growth in India by building on the country’s experience in energy provision, technology development and pro-poor approaches to services delivery,” Hande said. An example of GVEP’s achievements is the US $15 million Productive Uses for Renewable Energy (PURE) investment project in Guatemala. The PURE project will provide poor communities and households with higher sources of income and better living standards through improved lighting, water supply, and micro-enterprises. In Brazil, GVEP is linked to a major productive-use based rural electrification program seeking to provide energy services to 2.5 million people by 2008. GVEP will work with the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank and partners from the NGO community as well as the private sector. Funding will provide US $1.5 million for projects to provide energy services to poor communities around the world, including India. Hande added that the fund also supports education, health and agro-enterprise.
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