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Global Plan of Action (GPA) 

for Sustainable Energy Solutions in Situations of Displacement

Updates and News

  • October 2018: The GPA Work Plan first draft will be released to the five thematic Working Group for a first review and consultation. The GPA Work Plan is a set of concrete actions, based on the GPA Framework published in July 2018, that deliver the recommendations noted in the Global Plan of Action for Sustainable Energy Solutions in Situations of Displacement (GPA) Framework Document. From October 2018 onwards, the expert Working Groups will play an active part in operationalizing the Global Plan of Action through monthly conference calls.
  • Join a Working Group: To join the Working Group, please fill in your information through this form: http://bit.ly/GPAWorkingGroups
  • Press release following the launch of the Global Plan of Action Framework at the 2018 High Level Political Forum: https://bit.ly/2CVIpp3
  • Webinar: What is the Global Plan of Action? September 2018http://bit.ly/GPAWebinar

What is the Global Plan of Action?

The Global Plan of Action for Sustainable Energy Solutions in Situations of Displacement (GPA) is a non-binding framework and entails concrete recommendations for accelerated progress towards the vision of safe access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy services for all displaced people by 2030. The living framework is the result of continued consultation among humanitarian and development organisations, the private sector, governments, academia, and other stakeholders involved in the provision of fuel and energy services to displaced people.

Learn more


Today, over 130 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance due to conflict, natural disasters, and other complex global challenges.  For many of these people, access to energy sources is critical for survival, and how they access it impacts their health, livelihoods, safety, and well-being. Energy is critical for essential activities such as cooking meals, heating shelters, cooling vaccines, charging mobile phones and powering humanitarian operations. Lack of access to safe and sustainable energy exposes displaced women and girls to heightened risks of sexual and gender-based violence as they travel long distances to collect firewood and navigate poorly lit communal spaces.  

Energy access for displaced people is not prioritized in the global humanitarian system. Current energy practices in situations of displacement are often inefficient, polluting, unsafe for users, and harmful to the surrounding environment. Moreover, institutional humanitarian operations such as water pumping, community lighting, and health clinics rely heavily on unsustainable fossil fuels, costing hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Given the complex nature of humanitarian response and the challenges of integrating sustainable energy solutions into the humanitarian program cycle, there is not just one solution but a need for systemic actions to mobilise resources, build capacity and use the opportunity for energy solutions to enhance impact in sectors such as health, protection, food security, and WASH.


Aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal 7, the GPA is guided by the vision: Every person affected by conflict or natural disaster has access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy services by 2030.


The Mission of the Global Plan of Action is to equip stakeholders with the capacity to mainstream sustainable energy solutions into programming, with the goal of delivering improved protection, dignity, and energy-related social, environmental, and economic benefits to displaced people. 

Guiding Principles

  • Ensure priority involvement of displaced people, host communities and host governments from planning to implementation
  • Develop context appropriate solutions, no ‘one size fits all approaches, as energy is not an end in itself, but a means to enable human development
  • Promote recovery and self-reliance
  • Integrate gender sensitive approaches
  • Focus on local solutions and financial sustainability
  • Adhere to the ‘do no harm’ principles

Five Working Areas

The GPA is categorized in five thematic working areas that address current challenges and barriers to achieving access to sustainable energy for displaced people.  The working areas are: coordination and planningpolicy and advocacyinnovative financingtechnical expertise and capacity building, and data. Working groups around each of these thematic areas are facilitated by experts of the Global Plan of Action Steering Group.

GPA Support Structure

The GPA is to be delivered by:

  • The Steering Group, which provides strategic leadership, direction to the Working Groups, and oversight of the resulting Work Plan.
  • The Coordination Unit, which provides day-to-day support to the Steering Group, Working Groups, and coordinates the activities of the Work Plan.
  • The Working Groups, who develop and deliver, in their own capacity, the activities of the Work Plan across the five thematic Working Areas.


Get Involved

Stakeholders from all sectors are invited to join the Global Plan of Action through a Working Group, available for membership: https://bit.ly/2CuL8Wc. Advocates from humanitarian, development and energy organizations are invited to support the GPA through the following channels:

To join the movement, you are invited to email energy@unitar.org with your desired level of engagement.

Steering Group and Support

The Global Plan of Action is guided by a steering group consisting of members from the UNITAR, UNHCR, IOM, GIZ, WFP, FAO, the Moving Energy Initiative, Practical Action, UNEP-DTU, UNDP, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, the UN Foundation, and Sustainable Energy for All. The GPA Coordination Unit is hosted in the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). The GPA is kindly supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, the IKEA Foundation and NORCAP.