The World Bank Group and the Government of Myanmar have signed a grant agreement worth USD 3.45 million which will help over 450,000 people in rural Myanmar gain access to clean energy. The funds will be used to develop a commercial market for quality solar products and support sustainable growth of the off-grid lighting market in rural, remote areas of Myanmar. The grant agreement has been co-funded by the Global Partnership for Results Based Approaches and the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program. The grant will be implemented by Myanmar’s Department of Rural Development which will provide sub-grants to the private sector to develop supply chains (involving companies, retailers and consumers) for quality solar products.

According to the agreement, half of Myanmar’s population lacks access to grid electricity.  In rural areas, where most people live, over two thirds of households rely on candles, kerosene, low-quality batteries and diesel generators to meet their energy needs. Also, the funding is in line with Myanmar’s goal of attaining universal energy access by 2030 as stipulated in the country’s National Electrification Plan.

The funding complements the World Bank-funded National Electrification Project which has provided electricity to more than 2 million people in Myanmar through the grid, private sector-led mini-grid and off-grid solar solutions and street lighting.