Moving Energy Initiative

Energy access is a critical and under-served need among the 134 million people in need of humanitarian assistance today. To help address this and related issues, in July 2019, the Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) Humanitarian Working Group and Global Plan of Action (GPA) Coordination Unit, which UNITAR forms part of, will host two consecutive events – the annual SAFE Workshop & the first ever Humanitarian Energy Conference – to convene a broad community of stakeholders engaged in providing energy solutions to crisis-affected people. Both events will take place over four days in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The SAFE Workshop is a small training event designed to strengthen the knowledge and capacity of actors who provide (or are interested to provide) fuel and energy solutions to crisis-affected people. Recognizing that basic training is still an acute need in this sector, among both humanitarian and non-humanitarian practitioners, this year’s SAFE Workshop will be limited to individuals who are new to the topic and/or who have never attended a SAFE workshop before. The workshop will:

  • Introduce the concept of safe access to fuel and energy (SAFE) and why it is needed in humanitarian settings;
  • Discuss how energy impacts other aid sectors, including health, protection, food security, and others;
  • Highlight key features of working in humanitarian settings, including an overview of core principles, standards, and how humanitarian situations differ from normal market or development contexts;
  • Discuss key challenges in providing energy access to crisis affected people;
  • Teach best practices and principles for deciding when, whether, and how to intervene with an energy solution;
  • Direct participants to public tools and resources where they can find additional information.


The Humanitarian Energy Conference* is a new, large event that aims to capture and expand on the networking and knowledge-sharing components of previous SAFE Workshops. Its name is a recognition of the fact that the humanitarian energy community has rapidly grown in the past few years, encompassing not only humanitarian agencies and host governments, but also private businesses, research institutions, donors, investors, and others. The Conference will be critical opportunity for this diverse community of actors to: 

  • Learn about the overall state of the humanitarian energy sector;
  • Exchange knowledge on successes and failures;
  • Discuss common topics of interest, such as market-based solutions, working with the private sector, innovative financing options, national policies on displaced people, developing agency-wide energy strategies, and more;
  • Identify opportunities for coordination and collaboration through networking and peer learning;
  • Access public tools and resources where they can find additional information.

Both events will be hosted the Clean Cooking Alliance and UNITAR on behalf of the SAFE Working Group, and will take place consecutively over four days Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in mid-to-late July of 2019. Specific dates and agenda will be announced in a few weeks. Registration will open in April. Stay tuned!


For more information about the Workshop and Conference, please contact us at and

*This conference is aligned with the recommendations of the Global Plan of Action for Sustainable Energy Solutions in Situations of Displacement (GPA), a multi-stakeholder framework and practitioner network working to accelerate progress on sustainable energy access and efficiency for humanitarian partners, displaced people and host countries. The GPA is  jointly steered by  IOM, UNHCR, UNITAR, GIZ, The Moving Energy Initiative, Practical Action, WFP, UNEP DTU, UNDP, the Clean Cooking Alliance , FAO, UN Foundation and Sustainable Energy for All, with UNITAR hosting the GPA Coordination Unit. The Steering Group and Coordination Unit are grateful for the financial and capacity support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, NORCAP and the IKEA Foundation. 

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