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BRIEF April 13, 2018

Yemen Emergency Electricity Access Project

The Yemen Emergency Electricity Access Project is an operation that seeks to improve access to electricity in rural and peri-urban areas within the Republic of Yemen. It is financed by a US$ 50 million IDA grant that will be implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) over a period of three years.

The key value propositions of the project are as follows:

  • Expand access to electricity in rural and peri-urban areas for households and electricity-dependent services, including education, health services, water and food supply
  • Maximize finance for development by strengthening the existing, private-sector driven supply chain for solar and engaging the expansion of local microfinance institutions (MFIs) into solar lending
  • Contribute to Yemen’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement
  • Build on and expand UN-WB collaboration in the FCV context, drawing on flexible design and implementation arrangements and smart monitoring tools
  • Address prevalent energy sector gender gaps related to access to energy and finance 


The project is structured around the following three components:

  • Financing for Off-grid Solar (US$ 42m):
  1. Under Subcomponent 1.1, UNOPS will partner with eligible microfinance institutions (MFIs), help them set up financing windows for high-quality, small-scale solar solutions for rural and peri-urban households, and provide partial grants to make the systems affordable.
  2. Under Subcomponent 1.2, UNOPS will contract solar suppliers and installers to provide grant-financed solar systems to critical service facilities in rural and peri-urban areas, including health clinics, schools, water corporations and electricity corporations.
  • Implementation Support and Market Development (US $8m):

UNOPS will contract service providers and NGOs to provide market-strengthening activities.

  • Contingent Emergency Response Component (US $0):

Zero cost emergency component that can be activated in the event of an eligible emergency situation.

Geographic scope:

The project will aim to cover rural and peri-urban areas nationwide. The selection criteria for MFIs for Subcomponent 1.1 will include coverage and will include incentives for MFIs to expand their customer base and geographical coverage during implementation. A public geospatial information system (GIS) will locate each investment under Subcomponent 1.2 for transparency. 


UNOPS is both the recipient of IDA funds and the implementing agency. The project will be implemented directly by UNOPS; there will be project cooperation agreements between UNOPS and local partners, including MFIs, technical providers, and solar supply chain stakeholders. 

Key expected results:

The project aims to restore electricity supply to 200,000 households (1,340,000 people), 400 health facilities and 800 schools. In addition, an estimated 20-30% of the investment value is expected to remain in the Yemeni economy and create jobs. Moreover, the Project will reduce carbon emissions by 430,000tCO2 and contribute to meeting Yemen’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement.