Lowering the risk of private sector entry into displacement settings to create well-functioning, sustainable and clean energy markets for refugees

Mercy Corps


Mercy Corps is looking to explore the best ways to de-risk private sector entry into displacement settings to ensure increased access to energy products and services, whilst also providing choice for refugee and host community members.

Simon and her three children arrived in Bidibidi refugee settlement 5 years ago . Simon needs energy for cooking and lighting and for her children to study after dark. She cooks on a three stone fire, the smoke hurts her eyes and she often has a cough. She spends 2 hours per day collecting fuel where she feels unsafe. Her access to clean, affordable and reliable energy is restricted as there is a weak market in the camp, which means that product choice is limited. Often the products that are available are too expensive, of low quality or don’t come with post-sales services.

However, imagine that through coordinated action between private impact investors, foundations, corporates, humanitarian and development actors this scenario would have changed – the market was strengthened and private sector entry de-risked to create long lasting sustainable solutions for consumers. As investment in the local market increased, Simon gained improved access to a range of clean energy products that she could choose from to suit her specific needs. Her children could play and study after dark, she had more time and her exposure to risks were reduced. She gained a sense of ownership over the products she purchased and opened a barber shop.

To address this issue, we are asking: What are the differing roles of private, humanitarian and development actors for creating well-functioning markets for those in displacement settings? Where do we align and where does each fall short? How can we address these gaps?

We are looking for partners who will help us explore the best ways to stimulate and de-risk private sector entry into displacement settings to create sustainable and functioning markets for refugees and host community members, whilst also guaranteeing inclusive interventions that can be accessed by all consumer segments.

Please reach out to Megan Lancaster mlancaster@mercycorps.org ideally by the 27th of November if you are interested in collaboration.

This call will run on a rolling basis with the final deadline on 21st December 2020


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