News

World Bank Moves Ahead with Energy for the Poor Initiative, Schedules Meeting in Paris

Jamal Saghir, Director, Energy, Transport and Water, in the Sustainable Vice Presidency (SDNVP) of the World Bank 13 November 2008: The World Bank is moving ahead with the

Energy for the Poor initiative, a programme that seeks to provide rapid support

for countries' efforts to strengthen social safety nets to reduce the poor's

vulnerability to volatile fuel prices.

The initiative was announced by the Government

of Saudi Arabia when it convened an international energy conference in Jeddah

last June. Within the programme, financing is expected to: expand the poor's

access to sustainable energy services; deploy alternative, renewable energy

systems where the increase in fuel prices suggests that a shift in supply

options is economically prudent; and develop energy efficiency interventions

that have become economically attractive under higher energy prices.

Examples

of projects that could be financed include: deploying renewable energy

technology, such as hydropower; supporting inter-modal shifts in

transportation; promoting cross-border energy trade and complementing end-use

improvements in energy efficiency. Donor nations are scheduled to meet in

Paris, France, at the end of November 2008 to discuss their role in the

initiative that will be integrated by two components: a multi-donor trust fund,

called Energy Price Crisis Response, which will finance social safety nets for

the poorest people in the most affected countries in the short-term; and a

medium-term programme to scale up financing of energy projects to reduce a

country's longer-term vulnerability to high and volatile fuel prices.

This

scaling up will be achieved through co- and parallel financing with donors to

leverage more effectively their limited resources [World

Bank Press Release]