Masdar News

Beyond2020 Installs Lighting Solutions at the World’s Largest Refugee Camp in Bangladesh

04 May 2021 Press Release
Zayed Sustainability Prize

Abu Dhabi, UAE – 4 May 2021: Beyond2020, the UAE-driven humanitarian initiative has announced the deployment of critical solar energy lighting solutions at Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, lighting up the lives of 4,500 residents. The deployment in Bangladesh, which aims to enhance security and create better conditions for social and community activities after dark, marks the second phase of ‘20by2020’, which recently rebranded to ‘Beyond2020’ to serve as a flagship platform for continuous global outreach.

Going ‘beyond generations’, ‘beyond borders’ and ‘beyond limits’, Beyond2020 offers critical, life-transforming solutions to a broader number of beneficiaries worldwide, providing tech for good and fostering development that is inclusive and sustainable. 

Electricians Without Borders, a leading France-based non-profit organisation and the Zayed Sustainability Prize 2020 winner under the ‘Energy’ category, was tasked with installing the technology on behalf of Beyond2020, at the world’s largest refugee camp. The previous Prize winner leveraged its award-winning experience from the highly acclaimed ‘Light for the Rohingyas’ project that improved the lives of thousands of people through renewable energy and entrepreneurial mentoring.

Building on the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan by championing the humanitarian values of the UAE’s founding father, Beyond2020 donates sustainable technologies and solutions to vulnerable communities, with a total of nine countries reached, to date. Each solution or technology has already transformed other communities around the world and has been recognised by the Zayed Sustainability Prize as a winner or finalist.

H.E Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize said: “Empowering vulnerable communities and advancing global progress towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) remain the guiding principles of the Beyond2020 initiative. Beyond2020 and its partners are glad to play a part in helping the community in need in Bangladesh and supporting the efforts of humanitarian non-profits to relieve any hardships suffered by the community.”

H.E Al Jaber added, “The UAE has long had a holistic humanitarian outlook that is reinforced by the wise leadership with the aim of supporting sustainable solutions and launching and driving initiatives that aim to serve humanity in various parts of the world. We are pleased with the introduction of these vital lighting solutions by Beyond2020, bringing greater ease to the daily lives of the community and enhancing security, while building a more supportive environment for expanded community activities. We will continue to expand the reach and accessibility of the Zayed Sustainability Prize’s winners’ and finalists’ innovative sustainable solutions to even wider communities in the region and globally.” 

The rapid progress, perseverance, and expansion of Beyond2020 continues to be crucial as the world navigates the economic repercussions of the pandemic, requiring accelerated collaborative efforts by all stakeholders across the international sustainability community.

Mr. Johannes van der Klaauw, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) Representative in Bangladesh said: “The Beyond2020 initiative is breaking new ground in giving access to sustainable energy solutions. In Bangladesh, this generous donation will make a real positive difference in the lives of vulnerable Rohingya refugees. Light at night improves security and has important positive social impacts in the community, particularly for people living with disabilities and for women and young girls. The use of sustainable technology, such as the expanded use of renewable energy solutions, is a key priority for UNHCR in Bangladesh.”

Electricians Without Borders provided its international expertise in the field of renewable energy projects for off grid communities by installing 240 Solar Home Systems and 640 solar lamps in the refugee camp while training its residents in equipment maintenance for their respective households. The Beyond2020 deployment in Bangladesh targets all refugees, with a focus on people with disabilities, pregnant women, and young girls.

As part of the initiative’s first phase, a total of eight deployments have been rolled out to date, including energy, health, water and food-related solutions in Nepal, Tanzania, Uganda, Jordan, Egypt, Cambodia, Madagascar, and Indonesia. In addition to Bangladesh, another 11 countries have been identified for phase two. 

Beyond2020 brings together a leading and growing roster of UAE-based and international partners which include Abu Dhabi Global Market, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Mubadala Petroleum, the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence, Masdar, and BNP Paribas.