IFC’s Lighting Pakistan to Help Bring Affordable Solar Lighting to Millions

Islamabad, Pakistan, May 14, 2015—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today launched the Lighting Pakistan program to help provide safe, affordable, high-quality lighting to more than a million Pakistanis, easing the country’s energy crisis.

IFC has established a series of quality standards – the Lighting Global Quality Standards – for modern, off-grid lighting products. Lighting Pakistan, works directly with lighting manufacturers and distributors, supporting solar-powered products that meet these standards by connecting potential partners, including microfinance institutions, and investing in consumer education to raise awareness about solar technology.

“Controlling Pakistan’s energy crisis is the top priority of the government and IFC’s program will ease the burden on the national grid and help millions of people access lighting,” said Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Federal Minister of Finance. “IFC’s focus on quality lighting products is supported by the Government of Pakistan. We are in the process of adopting quality standards for the import of solar products to ensure Pakistani consumers are protected from poor quality products.”

Nadeem Siddiqui, IFC Country Manager in Pakistan, said: “Lighting Pakistan, which aims to reach 1.5 million people, is part of IFC’s strategy of promoting inclusive electrification in Pakistan, and is an important part of our broader approach of targeted interventions in the power sector.”

The Pakistan Off-Grid Lighting Consumer Perceptions Study, released at the launch, underscores the power challenge facing Pakistan. Based on interviews with over 6,000 Pakistani households, the report finds that nearly 145 million people are severely impacted by the country’s energy crisis.

“The report shows that many Pakistani households rely on an expensive and low-quality mix of battery powered torches, kerosene, and candles that do not meet their lighting needs and burns a hole in their pockets,” said Liam Grealish, Program Manager, Lighting Pakistan. “The Lighting Pakistan program will help raise awareness amongst these households about alternatives including quality solar-powered lighting products.”

The program is supported by IFC’s development partners UKAID and Australia AID. It is part of Lighting Global, a joint effort between IFC and the World Bank under the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, and part of IFC’s wider strategy to reduce greenhouse emissions and boost clean energy projects.

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