The World Bank is providing US$6.9 million in additional financing for the Haiti Renewable Energy for All Project.
The Bank said this financing aims to scale up renewable energy investments to expand and improve access to electricity for health infrastructure, households, businesses and community services.
“Access to reliable energy is essential to reinforce the ability of Haiti’s healthcare centers to power essential equipment needed to manage the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other priority health services,” said Anabela Abreu, World Bank Country Director for Haiti.
“This timely intervention complements our existing support to the health sector, while strengthening the country’s resilience to future shocks. “Clean and locally-available energy access will also foster inclusive growth in Haiti, facilitating new investments and innovations, which are fundamental for economic recovery from the pandemic.”
The World Bank said the electricity sector poses a major constraint to economic development and emergency response, and recovery from shocks in Haiti.
It said the country’s hospitals rely heavily on backup diesel generators, as grid electricity is often available only for a few hours a day.
“Lack of reliable electricity is constraining the efficiency of laboratories to test for COVID-19, limiting the distribution and safe storage of medicines (and eventually vaccines), and can prohibit the use of life-saving equipment, such as oxygen concentrators,” the bank said.
It said the US$6.9 million additional financing to the ongoing Haiti: Renewable Energy for All Project will allow the Haitian Government to expand the provision of clean and reliable electricity for at least four priority healthcare facilities involved in the response to the pandemic.
The World Bank said this will include the installation of solar photovoltaic and battery energy storage for health infrastructure and water facilities.
It said the project will also complete the rehabilitation of the Drouet mini hydroelectric plant in the Artibonite Department, which will provide clean and reliable electricity to nearby communities and the regional grid.
The financial institution said that US$4 million of the additional financing is a grant from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank, and US$2.9 million is granted from the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program Trust Fund.
The Haiti: Renewable Energy for All Project was launched in March 2018, as a result of a grant of US$19.62 million from the Strategic Climate Fund.