The Director General of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), Mr Suleiman Al-Herbish, has reaffirmed the organisation’s commitment to helping in the eradication of energy poverty across the globe.
Around one in seven people or 1.1 billion people don’t have access to electricity and almost three billion people still cook with polluting fuels such as kerosene, wood, charcoal and dung.
According to him, building synergies and creating a more sustainable platforms are necessary for the fight against energy poverty.
Mr Al-Herbish was of the view that global advocacy efforts, financing development projects across different sectors and continents, and forming partnerships with other development-related organisations remained vital in accelerating the global momentum of cooperation to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) which is aimed to ‘ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”.
Speaking at the just ended fourth Forum of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Forum in Lisbon, Portugal, last Thursday, Mr Al-Herbish said the OFID’s focus on energy, water and food-related projects was to ensure the organisation responded to the needs and priorities of its partner countries across the globe.
Mr Al-Herbish noted that while scalable solutions and growing commitments from governments and financiers toward delivering universal energy access continued to emerge, there was still much more to be done.
“At OFID, we recognise the need to inspire new partnerships, ideas and investment in the quest for modern and affordable energy for all. Advocacy, operations on the ground and partnerships are the main pillars for scaling up energy access if SDG 7 is to be met,” he stated.
The OFID, through the collaborative efforts with the World Petroleum Council, Shell, Total, OMV, Schlumberger among other partners, he said had helped to shape the global development agenda and providing an opportunity to leverage the vast experience and resources of the global oil and gas industry in the fight against energy poverty.
“At the OFID, we recognise the need to inspire new partnerships, ideas and investment in the quest for modern and affordable energy for all, advocacy, operations on the ground and partnerships are the main pillars for scaling up energy access if the SDG 7 is to be met,” he pointed out.
Outlining the OFID’s wider approach to alleviating energy poverty, which consists of global advocacy efforts, Mr Al-Herbish stated that financing development projects across different sectors and continents, and forming partnerships with other development-related organisations in order to enjoy synergies and created a bigger and more sustainable impact.
Mr Al-Herbish assured that the OFID would ensure that access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy services represented one of the most powerful tools for both human and economic development.
Universal access, he suggested remained a prerequisite to attaining the SDGs.
OFID, he intimated had concentrated 50 per cent of all of its activities in all sectors in Africa with some $3.8 billion being committed for the energy for the poor project.
Mr Al-Herbish expressed the hope that the partnerships and alliances being established by OFID in member countries would help in the creation of awareness of energy poverty and its eradication.