New Efficiency for Access Campaign Centers Off-Grid Appliances in COVID-19 Response

Furthering its commitment to the acceleration of renewable energy in vulnerable, off-grid communities, CLASP, through, Efficiency for Access has launched a campaign to demonstrate the role of appropriate technologies in COVID-19 response and recovery. From November 2020 to April 2021,  Appliances Are Vital (a multi-month communications campaign) will amplify the most up-to-date news, data and research related to the off- and weak-grid appliance sector and the ways it can help alleviate the suffering caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Imagine facing the COVID-19 pandemic without a television for information, refrigeration to preserve perishable food and lighting to work or study past sunset. For many of the 475 million households worldwide with limited or no access to reliable electricity, these conditions are a daily reality. Further, more than 1 billion people do not have access to health facilities with reliable power supply needed for devices like ventilators and vaccine refrigerators that have become life-saving during the pandemic.

As vulnerable off- and weak-grid communities face the health and socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, off-grid appliances are at the frontlines of the household and medical responses to the crises.

“In a world grappling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must champion affordable, sustainable and appropriately-designed energy solutions that can power community health, keep people connected to their loved ones and help them earn a living,” said Jeffrey Prins of IKEA Foundation, co-Chair of the Efficiency for Access Coalition.

“This campaign will raise awareness of the potential of the sun to help people power their lives. For example, solar water pumps could give homes and hospitals access to clean water, off-grid refrigerators could enable an equitable rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine and solar radios and computers could help vulnerable communities get critical, life-saving information. We need more people on board to make this accessible to all.”

Each month, Appliances are Vital will spotlight a different theme—agriculture, education, healthcare, gender and disability inclusion, and recovery & resiliency—to dive into specific appliances and their impacts in the time of COVID-19 and beyond. The campaign will also feature stories and insights from off-grid consumers, including this new video of a women-led food truck company in Mumbai that has grown revenue with the purchase of a solar-powered refrigerator.

All campaign-related materials and collateral will use the hashtag, #AppliancesAreVital.

Appliances Are Vital will build new partnerships and opportunities across the energy access, agriculture and health landscape. Throughout the campaign, Efficiency for Access will partner will organisations to disseminate information, host events, and develop new content. To get involved with the campaign, please contact Joanie Coker (jcoker@clasp.ngo) and Lauren Boucher (lboucher@clasp.ngo).

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