Access to electricity can end extreme poverty

A fifth of the world’s population don’t have access to electricity. Join our campaign to fight for them.

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Imagine not being able to turn on a light, boil a kettle, or keep food safe to eat. This is life for 1.2 billion people.

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1
people living without electricity
4
people die every year from cooking with wood or dung stoves
800
children die every year from contaminated water

"Energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, social equity, and environmental sustainability."

Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General

"...a light where currently there is darkness; the energy needed to lift people out of poverty - that's what opportunity looks like"

Barack Obama, President of the United States

"If you could pick just one thing to lower the price of, to reduce poverty, you would pick energy. If you gave me only one wish this is the wish I would pick, this is the one with the greatest impact … it’s the most important investment we can make for the world."

Bill Gates, Philanthropist

Our mission

Electricity holds the key to ending poverty. With it, we can help the 1.2 billion people who don’t have access to power – and radically improve their life chances. 

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Get the facts

Find out more about the far-reaching social and economic consequences of life without electricity.

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Story of Dharnai

If you want to know why electricity matters, ask the people of Dharnai – a typical Indian village of around 3,000 people in Bihar, Eastern India.

Story of Dharnai

Latest updates

If it fails to solve its energy crisis, Nigeria could become the world’s next big security risk

If it fails to solve its energy crisis, Nigeria could become the world’s next big security risk

| Nigeria | No Comments

Nigeria has half the population of the US but generates only 1 percent as much electricity. This is despite the fact that Nigeria has 3 billion metric tonnes of coal…

Ethiopia digs for power

Ethiopia digs for power

| Ethiopia | No Comments

When it comes to energy, Ethiopia is one of Africa’s most ambitious countries. The East African nation has committed to quadruple the electricity it generates by 2020, and has just…

Has the World Bank lost its way?

Has the World Bank lost its way?

| Developing Countries | No Comments

The World Bank’s chief economist Paul Romer has just quit, amid intense controversy about how the Bank pursues its development mission. According to reports, Mr Romer left following a disagreement…

Why is the coal-dependent EU telling Kenya it can’t use coal to industrialise?

Why is the coal-dependent EU telling Kenya it can’t use coal to industrialise?

| Kenya | No Comments

The European Union’s Ambassador to Kenya has demanded that the East African country drop plans to build its first coal-fired power plant. “Coal has fallen out of favour in the…

Marshall Plan for Africa to stop migration

Marshall Plan for Africa to stop migration

| Developing Countries | No Comments

Greece and Italy have demanded the creation of an EU-wide “Marshall Plan for Africa” to tackle the underlying causes of the migrant crisis, evoking the US aid programme that rebuilt…

Urbanising Africa needs the grid

Urbanising Africa needs the grid

| Developing Countries | No Comments

“I came to [Rwandan capital] Kigali about five years ago,” says 35-year-old Hassan Mudenge, a construction site assistant, “to look for a job and other opportunities. I can say I…

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