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The world’s first refugee camp powered by renewable energy

The plant, funded by the Ikea Foundation, is the first in the world to be built in a refugee camp and will supply residents free of charge.

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With only sporadic access to electricity, cooking and washing was a daily challenge for thousands of refugees living in Jordan’s Azraq refugee camp.

Managing the desert extremes of heat and cold was a constant problem, even getting to the washroom at night was a safety concern for women and children.

Now, a solar power plant is bringing reliable and free electricity to 20,000 refugees living in 5,000 of Arzaq’s shelters.

The two megawatt plant means thousands of families displaced by the Syrian war will now be able to power a fridge, fan, television and easily charge their phones to stay in contact with family and friends.

The plant, funded by the Ikea Foundation, is the first in the world to be built in a refugee camp and will supply residents free of charge. Until this year, the camp had no electricity, leaving households reliant on solar lanterns given to them on arrival and street lighting installed in one of the two camp villages.

Affordable and sustainable

With electricity in Jordan an expensive commodity, by going green the UN Refugee Agency will make immediate savings of $1.5 million per year. It plans to plough these savings back into other areas where help is needed.

With plans to upgrade the photovoltaic plant from two to five megawatts further down the line, it will soon cover all of Azraq’s energy needs for its 36,000 residents.

UNHCR

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Alongside a green power source, the plant has also created income for 50 of the refugees, who helped build the solar farm alongside Jordanian solar company Mustakbal. Some of these refugees will also be in charge of maintenance work in the future.

UNHCR

Since 2011, 5 million people have fled Syria for Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. There are estimated to be 6.3m million internally displaced Syrians.

Bright idea

At a cost of €8.75m, the solar farm has been entirely funded by the Ikea Foundation’s ‘Brighter lives for refugees’ campaign, that has raised €30.8m for UNHCR projects across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The Ikea Foundation donated €1 to UNHCR for every LED light-bulb sold during the campaign period with the aim of bringing renewable energy and education to refugees.

Other projects funded by the Foundation include 22 biogas plants in Bangladesh, which process 15% of human waste to generate green fuel for cooking. It has also helped to train 740 teachers in Bangladesh, Chad and Ethiopia, enrolling 37,000 refugee children in primary school.

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China

GM sells Thai factory to Chinese automaker GWM

After 20 years of operation in Thailand, General Motors will cease its activities, and resell its factory to the Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motors

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General Motors (GM) announced it will stop selling Chevrolet vehicles in Thailand and sell its Rayong plant to Great Wall Motors (GWM) by the end of this year.

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Companies

Cyber incidents top most important business risks for Asia-Pacific companies

For the first time ever, Cyber incidents (35% of responses) rank as the most important business risk in Asia-Pacific in the ninth Allianz Risk Barometer 2020

Boris Sullivan

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Flexible working and cybersecurity

For the first time ever, Cyber incidents (35% of responses) rank as the most important business risk in Asia-Pacific in the ninth Allianz Risk Barometer 2020, relegating perennial top peril Business interruption (BI) (34% of responses) to second place.

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Banking

Corporate debt market in Thailand well positioned for further growth

Brazil, China, South Africa and Thailand are best-placed for corporate debt market growth says Moody’s Investors Service in a report that analyzed trends in 35 emerging markets.

Olivier Languepin

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Corporate debt markets in Brazil (Ba2 stable), China (A1 stable), South Africa (Baa3 negative) and Thailand (Baa1 positive) are best-placed to achieve further growth in the coming years, Moody’s Investors Service said today in a report that analyzed trends in 35 emerging markets.

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