Humanitarian Energy
Award Appeal

Help refugees build a brighter future - and see your donation doubled

Coronavirus has shaken lives and communities around the world. But for the many refugees who go without access to energy, the fight to survive and recover is even harder.

Safe, reliable, clean energy is essential for everything from cooking to lighting, to making homes warmer and safer, to ensuring schools and health centres can supply vital services.

However, about 80% of people living in refugee camps are thought to have minimal access to energy for cooking and heating, and about 90% have no access to electricity. Coronavirus is making a terrible situation even worse – funding from aid agencies is more stretched than ever, and more refugees are struggling to pay for essential items like simple solar lanterns.    

For this reason, we are urgently seeking donations to our 2021 Humanitarian Energy award. And now your donation will go twice as far, as a generous private donor has agreed to match every gift made to the appeal.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Yemen won our 2020 award for their community-owned microgrids that have brought energy, incomes and a new role for women to villages shaken by years of war.

The initiative was a worthy winner – but there is much more innovation out there. Your donation will help us showcase proven solutions to funders and governments, so bright ideas can get the backing they badly need.

The 2021 Award will focus on initiatives that put power in the hands of displaced people – who so often lose their rights and voice along with their homes and belongings. The dignity that access to energy brings can be as vital as the hot meals, healthcare and phone calls to loved ones it also makes possible.

Why we need your help

80 million

people worldwide have been forcibly displaced from their homes.


of people in camps have minimal access to energy for heating and cooking.


of people living in these camps have no access at all to electricity.

Target: £80,000


* Thanks to two generous donors, we’re excited to add two incredible gifts totalling £32,500.

All future donations will be doubled thanks to match-funding from a generous donor.

“It is so important for people to continue and maintain their resilience and keep hoping for a better future. Often, it's the little things that count. The project gives people that hope – and so does this award.”

- Auke Lootsma, UNDP’s Country Director in Yemen.

How your donation will help

Gifts will help fund a package of support for the winning organisation, including our award grant, technical assistance, connections to leading investors and funders, and the making of an inspiring film. Our awards make sure brilliant ideas are heard around the world. 

We’ve already helped this year’s winner make global headlines – will you help us put the spotlight on more outstanding innovation among the world’s marginalised communities?  

Humanitarian Energy Award 2020 winner:

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Yemen

Play Video

Read about this year's winner in the news

Yemen’s ‘microgrid girls’ power community amid war and COVID-19

Featured in Aljazeera

11 climate innovations to put quest For SDGs back on track

Featured on

How solar microgrids are empowering women in Yemen

Featured on

Learn about our previous international winners

Are you a UK taxpayer making a personal donation?

I want to Gift Aid my donation and any donations I make in the future or have made in the past 4 years, to Ashden Sustainable Solutions, Better Lives. I am a UK taxpayer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all of my donations in that tax year it is my responsibility to pay any difference. Ashden Sustainable Solutions, Better Lives will claim 25p on every £1 donated.

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