Sustainable Energy Solutions for Equitable Access to Health Services in Sudan

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Cognizant of the need to provide sustainable and affordable energy to all, UNDP Sudan has been continuously exploring opportunities to improve access to basic services in Sudan in line with sustainable Development Goal 7 “Affordable and Clean Energy”.

In a country where 65% of the population have no access to energy, growth and sustainable development of households and economies have been challenging. Both thermal and hydroelectric energy provides the national grid with electric power; nevertheless adequate power supply remains intermittent all across the county.

Resorting to solar energy has presented itself as a viable solution for affordable and reliable power supply. However, a number of constraints have been hindering the adoption of wide scale solar energy in Sudan. These constraints are mainly linked to financial and technical expertise availability. One of the most highly affected sectors with the spasmodic supply of energy is the health sector in Sudan where health facilities and drug warehouses have been deeply impacted.

On November 27th, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with UNDP, Ministry of International Cooperation, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Electricity and Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources held the first instersectoral meeting on Solar for Health.

The meeting was chaired by H.E. Minister of Federal Health Mr. Ahmed idriss Abu Garda and was attended by the UNDP Country Director Dr. Selva Ramachndran, Director of UNDP’s Health Implementation Team and Global Fund Partnership Mr. Hakan Bjorkman, State Minister of International Cooperation Mr. Ibrahim Yousif Al-Hindi and State Minister of Finance Mr. Magdi Hassan Yassin.

The meeting reviewed UNDP’s Solar for Health interventions in a number of states in Africa namely Zambia and Zimbabwe and the potential to replicate these experiences in Sudan. The proposed project aims to target a total of 5,480 health facilities all across Sudan with reliable power supply through the installation of solar power stations with a budget of  USD 85,million  

Once implemented this project will have a direct impact on increasing access to health commodities and the providing of green employment and microfinance opportunities for youth working as service providers.

Participants further thanked UNDP for its continuous support to sustainable development through its interventions in projects related to Solar for Agriculture and in the health sectors to increase the resilience of communities. The ministers further reiterated the government of Sudan’s commitment to cost share in this project’s budget and to work closely with partners to finance this project with potential donors for the benefit of the public.