Training in Rwanda on Safe Access to Fuels and Energy (SAFE) in Humanitarian Settings
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) held a training from June 16-20 in Kigali, Rwanda on Safe Access to Fuels and Energy (SAFE) in humanitarian settings. This skills-based training was designed to build the capacity of UN agency, NGO, private sector, and government staff working with refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs), and other humanitarian populations in East Africa, and train humanitarian workers on how best to recognize, assess, and respond to cooking and energy needs in humanitarian settings. More than 65 participants from 15 countries attended the training including those from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Chad, Burkina Faso, and more.
The first two days of the training provided an overview of the importance of energy access in enhancing the protection, health, livelihood, and nutrition of refugees and displaced populations, as well as an introduction to the global SAFE Reference Group that serves as a coordinating body for SAFE interventions and advocacy. Participants also learned about UNHCR’s global SAFE strategy, which identifies interventions to ensure that cooking and lighting energy needs among their beneficiaries are met around the world. Participants then learned how to implement SAFE projects and assess their impact, as well as information on improved cookstove technology, fuels, standards, and testing. Learnings were applied through a case study exercise, where participants broke into groups to design and present SAFE responses to humanitarian crises.
Presenters included Corinne Hart and Katherine Arnold of the Alliance, Megan Gerrard and Nadia Tabaro of the Women’s Refugee Committee, Xavier Castellvi and, Kate Milliken of the World Food Programme, Dr. Amare Gebre Egziabher and Yoko Kuroiwa of UNHCR, and Vahid Jahangiri of the International Lifeline Fund.
The final days of the training included field visits to the Kigeme refugee camp in Nyamagabe district of Rwanda to visit a UNHCR carbon project distributing an improved cookstove with a goal of reaching the entire camp population, as well as one to Gihembe camp to practice baseline and assessment methodologies. UNHCR led a specialized training for UNHCR field staff that will be responsible for designing national strategies in UNHCR’s priority countries in the first phase of its strategy. The World Food Programme also held a coordination meeting with their field staff to share learnings, coordinate efforts, and understand how best to scale programs.