Fighting COVID-19 and strengthening the health infrastructure with sustainable energy

The electrification of healthcare facilities is an important enabler of the quality and functioning of essential health services, including for the diagnosis and management of COVID-19 patients. At the same time, survival of the mini-grid and offgrid industry is key for providing everyone with sustainable energy access. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Switzerland supports a joint initiative by the World Bank, Gavi and the World Health Organisation to accelerate electrification of health care facilities and provide liquidity to financially suffering mini-grid and offgrid companies.

Land/Region Thema Periode Budget
Klimawandel & Umwelt
Erzeugung erneuerbarer Energien
Stärkung der Gesundheitssysteme
01.09.2020 - 30.06.2022
CHF  3’000’000

Access to clean, reliable and affordable energy is a key requirement for poverty reduction and economic development. The increasing use of renewable energy is also a key means in order to limit climate change. Lockdown measures taken in relation with the COVID-19 pandemic have tremendous effects on mini grid and off-grid industry. Most companies say they are unlikely to survive the crisis without financial help.

At the same time, electrification of healthcare facilities is an important enabler of the quality and functioning of essential health services, including for the diagnosis and management of COVID-19 patients – and future vaccination campaigns. A joint initiative submitted by the World Bank, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, aims not only to respond to the immediate COVID-19 health emergency, but also establish an accelerated pathway for universal electrification of health facilities while supporting the mini-grid and offgrid industry to survive the current crisis, with a geographic focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. Existing engagements by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) put Switzerland in a favourable position to support this initiative.

Ziele Deliver a rapid, reliable, sustainable and quality response to people affected by COVID-19 through electrification of health care facilities with renewable energy while strengthening the mini-grid and offgrid energy sector.

Health care facilities with unreliable/unsustainable electricity access

Mini grid and off-grid solar companies active in Sub-Saharan Africa

End-beneficiaries: patients consulting target health care facilities

Mittelfristige Wirkungen

Health care facilities electrified using renewable energy

Rapid and efficient emergency response supported with technical assistance

Liquidity of mini-grid and offgrid companies increased through relief and bridge funding


Erwartete Resultate:  

·  At least 1,000 healthcare and associated
water facilities provided with renewable energy

·  A menu of sustainable O&M options developed
and applied for emergency installations

·  At least 10 companies benefitting from technical
assistance and training on gender-related HR aspects

·  USD 100 million International Development
Association funding mobilized

·  USD 75 million of commercial investment
unlocked through the grant for the first loss
guarantee for the Energy Access Relief Fund

-  75 companies provided with bridge or relief funding

Resultate von früheren Phasen:  

·  70% of Sub-Sahara Africa’s health facilities do not have access to reliable electricity, resulting in a substantial loss of drug and vaccine supplies and failing of electrical medical equipment.

·  COVID-19 has highlighted the urgency to electrify health care facilities to improve their preparedness for the diagnosis and management of patients and the storage of related drugs and consumables.

·  A vibrant, but still developing mini-grid and offgrid industry has provided more than 420 million people with energy access worldwide.

-  COVID-19 has struck the mini-grid and offgrid industry. Relief and bridge funding is needed to sustain current and future progress towards sustainable energy access for all.

Verantwortliche Direktion/Bundesamt DEZA
Kreditbereich Entwicklungszusammenarbeit
Projektpartner Vertragspartner
Internationale Finanzinstitution (IFI)
  • Other WB

Koordination mit anderen Projekten und Akteuren World Health Organisation, Gavi, SEforAll, Green Climate Fund, SECO, Africa Minigrid Developers Association, GOGLA, Rockefeller Foundation
Budget Laufende Phase Schweizer Beitrag CHF    3’000’000 Bereits ausgegebenes Schweizer Budget CHF    3’000’000