Solar Lanterns for Migrants and Communities

Solar Lanterns for Migrants and Communities

  • Overview

    Vision / description

    Around 1.3 billion people around the world have limited access to electricity with an overwhelming number residing in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia. Limited access to electricity means life beyond the daylight hours is incredibly restricted. Children cannot properly study and pursue their educational goals and neighborhoods and individuals can feel unsafe.

    In response to the energy needs of migrants and remote communities across the globe, IOM has launched the Global Solar Lantern Initiative. It aims to provide solar lanterns to vulnerable families in Africa, South Asia and Latin America. Solar lanterns provide on average 4-5 hours of quality light without the toxic fumes associated with kerosene lamps which can cause serious health problems as well as pose serious fire hazards. In distributing solar lanterns, IOM and its partners will improve the quality of life of vulnerable families and communities and will contribute to the achievement of of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    Project objectives

    IOM is aiming to help 228,000 vulnerable individuals in 57,000 households get better access to light through distribution of solar lanterns. IOM aims to establish partnerships with the solar lighting sector and other businesses interested in making a positive impact on migrants and communities across the globe. Businesses may benefit by gaining access to a new consumer base, enhancing their visibility in emerging markets, and developing stronger ties with migrants and communities across the globe.


    Migrants, Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons, Remote Communities

    Current progress

    IOM’s Global Solar Lanterns Initiative has already provided solar lanterns to approximately 32,000 individuals in the Philippines, Bangladesh, Ghana, Ethiopia and Somalia. Existing partnerships include Waka Waka, a Dutch solar company that provides IOM with a solar lantern to distribute to vulnerable families for every solar lantern purchased. In addition, IOM and Panasonic have partnered to jointly enhance the quality of life in developing communities through the provision of solar lanterns in Ethiopia and Somalia.

    Project URL

    Sustainable Development Goals

    1. No poverty; 3. Good health and well-being; 4. Quality education; 5. Gender equality; 7. Affordable and clean energy; 8. Decent work and economic growth; 9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure; 10. Reduced inequalities; 12. Responsible consumption and production

    Partnership types of interest

    Business opportunities in low income communities/countries ; Project funding; Provision of goods

    Issue areas

    Child Labour; Children's Rights; Education; Forced Labour; Gender Equality; Health; Human Rights; Human Trafficking; Indigenous Peoples; Labour; Migrant Workers; Persons with Disabilities; Poverty; Principle 1; Principle 2; Principle 3; Principle 4; Principle 5; Principle 6; Women's Empowerment; Youth


    Existing partners

    Panasonic, Waka Waka , United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Global Off Grid Lighting Association

    Stakeholders consulted

    Women; Youth

    Preferred partner organisation(s)

    Business Association Global; Business Association Local; Company; NGO Global; NGO Local; Public Sector Organization; Small or Medium-sized Enterprise; UN Entity

    Collective Action
    • This initiative has a potential for scalability.
    • This initiative is seeking additional partners.
    • This initiative respects all dimensions of sustainable development.
    • This initiative is not submitted with commercial intent.