International agencies warned on Monday that the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic has left more than 25 million people in Africa and Asia unable to purchase energy, jeopardising a worldwide aim of providing electricity to everyone by 2030.
According to an annual global report tracking progress on sustainable energy, two-thirds of those affected were in Sub-Saharan Africa, widening inequities in the region’s access to electricity. As the COVID-19 issue damaged jobs and wages in 2020, millions of people struggled to pay for basic electrical services such as lighting, fans, TV, and cellphones, according to the research.
This jeopardises progress made in the previous decade, which saw more than a billion people gain access to power since 2010, bringing the global population to 90 per cent by 2019. However, the pandemic has put the United Nations-backed aim of ensuring universal access to energy by 2030 “in jeopardy,” with the number of people without power in Africa expected to rise in 2020 after declining for the previous six years research.
He told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that “lack of access to reliable energy has an impact on public health and would necessitate additional efforts to build the data, communications, logistics, and reliable cold chain needed to give vaccines.”
According to a report provided by the International Energy Agency, International Renewable Energy Agency, U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO)., an estimated 660 million people will still be without power in 2030 under existing and projected policies.