The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Wednesday switched on the solar plant in Jordan’s Azraq refugee camp, making it the first refugee camp in the world to be powered by renewable energy. The solar plant allows UNHCR to provide electricity to the 20,000 Azraq camp residents for free, Xinhua news agency quoted UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric as saying.
The families in the camp can now connect a fridge, a TV, a fan, have light inside the shelter and charge their phones, which is critical for refugees to keep in contact with their relatives abroad. The solar plant will also result in savings of $1.5 million per year and reduce CO2 emissions by 2,370 tons per year, Dujarric added.
Azraq camp opened its doors in April 2014 and is located in a desert area in northern Jordan, with hot summers and harsh winters. The lack of electricity has been one of the main challenges faced by its residents, making daily activities difficult. The introduction of electricity in January 2017 addressed these challenges and significantly improved the well-being of Azraq camp residents.