Islamic Development Bank and Development Partners Launch US$ 180 Million Renewable Energy Initiative for the Poor

Dakar, Senegal, 03.06. 2014 – At a regional conference held in Dakar, Senegal on 3 June, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) along with other development partners launched a new program called Renewable Energy for Poverty Reduction (REPoR), which will focus on improving access to electricity through off-grid energy solutions such as mini-grids that combine solar and diesel energy that have proven to be effective and reliable sources of
low-cost energy in various communities. In the next three years, the program will be implemented in six countries, mainly in the Sub-Saharan Africa.

The program, developed by the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), the poverty alleviation arm of the IDB, in partnership with the IDB itself, will provide US$ 125 million for the program while raising an additional US$ 55 million from other development partners.

A statement read on behalf of Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, President, IDB, said “We, at the Islamic Development Bank, are conscious about how we can bring electricity to the poor using natural resources in a sustainable way. The Initiative, launched today, demonstrates IDB’s commitment to ending energy poverty.”

REPoR is part of IDB’s pro-poor energy initiative that seeks to make electricity accessible to the poor, especially the rural population that is 2.5 times less likely to access electricity than those in urban areas. Within its pro-poor energy program, the IDB has financed mini-hydro power plants in Tajikistan, supported rural electrification in Senegal and installed off-grid systems in Bangladesh. Many other member countries have also benefited from the program.

The launch of the program comes on the eve of the first UN Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Forum in New York during June 4-6, where UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other dignitaries will formally launch the UN Decade of Sustainable Energy for All. IDB will make a presentation on the REPoR initiative at the SE4ALL.