Solar Electric Light Fund Launches “Energy is a Human Right” Campaign

Washington, D.C. – January 31 – The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF), a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit working to eliminate energy poverty through the use of solar power, today announced that it is launching “Energy is a Human Right,” a campaign to provide a voice to the nearly 1.5 billion people around the world living without access to modern energy services, specifically electricity. It is also calling upon the international development community and general public to join the campaign by visiting www.EnergyIsAHumanRight.com to show their support for those living in energy poverty, and to learn how they can help provide energy access to assist in their economic, education, health and agricultural development.

“For the last 15 years, SELF has always believed and said that energy is essential for life,” says Bob Freling, Executive Director, SELF. “Access to energy is foundational to achieving a broad range of basic human rights and all of the Millennium Development Goals. Without it, life is very, very difficult as I’m sure 1.5 billion people can attest to.”

Through its Whole Village Development Model, SELF works hand-in-hand with communities to create and implement innovative solar energy solutions to improve people’s health and education, ensure food and water security, and spur economic development. Recently, it made a commitment to the United Nation’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative to continue scaling up this model in Benin, West Africa by installing solar systems to power water systems, schools, health clinics, community centers, and street and household lighting systems. Mr. Freling is also co-chairing the initiative’s Working Group on Energy and Health, which will be examining ways to provide access to renewable energy sources for hospitals and health care clinics to support medical services.

“We proudly support the U.N. initiative and look forward to closely working with them to provide universal access to energy to those in need,” says Freling. “Our hope in launching this human rights campaign is to call attention to the critical role energy can play in helping people lift themselves out of poverty and create a better life.”

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