Multi-actor Cooking Energy Strategy for Refugees and Host Communities in Ethiopia (2022 – 2030) – December 2022

1. Introduction

Ethiopia is the third-largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, sheltering 844,589 registered refugees and asylum-seekers as of 31 March 2022. The vast majority of the refugees are sheltered in camps scattered throughout the Country.

The almost complete reliance of refugees and host communities on unsustainable solid biomass for cooking using the three-stone stove is posing significant challenges. Access to traditional cooking fuels in Ethiopia is threatened by the progressive depletion of biomass energy resource base as well as the impacts of climate change. Although actions to improve the cooking energy access situation by the humanitarian community and private sector are encouraging, these remain insignificant to the scale of the challenges. There is an urgency to scale-up interventions to bring about transformational results at speed and scale. This is best summarized as follows:

Although the past execution method has evolved slightly, one can observe modest adjustments or improvements, especially when looking into clean cooking services. This isn't going to get us any farther, and it won't help us see real progress. … It is important to break out of business-as-usual approaches.

The overarching goal of this Multi-Actor Cooking Energy Strategy is to advance the fundamental human rights for adequate, sustainable, affordable and clean cooking solutions through inclusive and people-centred approach where no one is left behind.

The successful implementation of this Strategy should ultimately lead to positive outcomes: access to modern cooking energy services has an immediate and well-researched impact on the quality of life. Furthermore, it will strengthen gender equality, enhance climate resilience, and promote peaceful co-existence between refugees and host communities.

This Strategy is aligned with the Seventh Sustainable Development Goal (SDG7) which calls for “affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” by 2030; the UNHCR Global Strategy for Sustainable Energy (2019-2024); the Global Platform for Action (GPA) on Sustainable Energy in Displacement Setting; and the Ethiopian National programmes.

The Strategy was developed through a staged and inclusive process under the leadership and of the humanitarian Energy and Environment Working Group and other stakeholders.

The Strategy is organized in ten Sections. The following Section provides an overview of the refugee camps in Ethiopia and the state of access to cooking energy services. Sections 3 provides the SWOT and PESTEL analyses, i.e., the challenges, limitations and barriers; and the assets and opportunities. Then follows the Vision, Mission and Guiding Principles in Sections 4. The framework for change and strategic goals and strategic actions are presented in Sections 5 and 6, respectively. Sections 7-10, present the estimated financing needs and resource mobilization strategy; risks assessment and management plan; monitoring and evaluation framework; and arrangement for the strategy implementation, in their respective orders.

Annexes include Working Definitions (Annex 1), baseline and targets (Annex 2), estimated financing needs (Annex 3), and existing initiatives/players (Annex 4).

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees