We Care Solar is awarded US$1 million United Nations Energy Grant to expand the use of life-saving 'Solar Suitcase'
New York, 14 September - The first ever US$1 million UN-DESA Energy Grant has been awarded to We Care Solar, a non-profit organization, to enhance and expand the use of its 'Solar Suitcase'. By making solar power simple, accessible and affordable, this device allows for the provision of electricity for medical procedures during childbirth in many developing countries, helping to avoid life-threatening complications for mothers and children.
2015 Award Ceremony and Seminar
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Sustainable energy crucial for achieving development goalsIn his opening remarks, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described sustainable energy as a key priority for the United Nations that connects economic growth, social equity, a stable climate and a healthy environment. "Energy underpins our efforts to achieve development objectives - from reducing extreme poverty to enhancing food security, from powering essential health services to providing electricity for education," he said. Despite strenuous efforts by the international community, one person in five still lacks access to electricity; more than a third of humanity relies on wood, charcoal, animal and crop waste for cooking and heating; and some 4 million people die each year from the effects of indoor air pollutants. The Secretary-General commended the event as going beyond a symbolic ceremony and as celebrating the initiatives and actions of all 12 selected grant applicants.
UN-DESA Grant a unique undertakingThe President of the 69th session of the General Assembly, Sam Kutesa, sees in the Grant "an opportunity to show the world the best examples that demonstrate how science, technology and innovation can be put into practice to induce change and to transform the world". He also noted that the Grant is a unique undertaking that focuses on and stresses the need for not only innovation and implementation but for capacity building on energy for sustainable development. Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Wu Hongbo expressed his deep gratitude to the Grant applicants, saying that they had demonstrated through their initiatives and actions how they are contributing to the United Nations vision of sustainable energy. He also recognized the leadership of the China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC), whose funding support has made this Grant possible. "Energy belongs to everyone on this earth, and access to energy should be a basic human right for every man and woman, there is enough energy to go around for all of us," said Dr. Patrick Ho, Secretary-General of the China Energy Fund Committee.
The "Powering the Future We Want" initiativeThe UN-DESA Energy Grant is a capacity building initiative launched and managed by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), in collaboration with the CEFC, a Hong Kong based NGO in consultative status with ECOSOC. Titled "Powering the Future We Want", this initiative offers a grant in the amount of one million US dollars to fund capacity development activities in energy for sustainable development. The grant is awarded to an individual, institution or partnership based on past and current achievements in leadership and innovative practices in advancing energy for sustainable development. For its first award, the UN-DESA Energy Grant received over 200 applications. The winner has been selected through a rigorous review and objective assessment of these applications, undertaken in multiple stages, guided by an Advisory Council and a High-level Steering Committee. The initiative will be implemented annually. Winner of the US$1 million 2015 UN-DESA Energy Grant: We Care Solar. Winner of a Special Award: Masdar. Special recognition: BYD. Ten finalists: Eco-Fuel Africa; Electricity Regulatory Authority of Uganda; MicroEnergy International; Pact Institute; Powerhive; Self Employed Women’s Association, Bharat (SEWA Bharat); SolarAid; Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF); Strathmore Energy Research Centre (SERC), Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC) and Village Energy, We Care Solar. Press Contact: Matthias Klettermayer, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 (212) 963 8306