Nigeria: 1.5 bn people live without electricity

Nov 24, 2009 01:00 AM

A new UN report says more than a quarter of the global population, or 1.5 bn people live without electricity.
The report also said that 80 % of the people live in the least developed countries (LDCs) of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The report was produced in partnership with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), with support from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

According to the report, to halve the proportion of people living in poverty by 2015, 1.2 bn more people will need access to electricity. It also stated that two bn more people will need access to modern fuels like natural gas or Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), also called propane.
It noted that 2 mm people die every year from causes associated with exposure to smoke from cooking with biomass and coal, while 99 % of those deaths occur in developing countries.

The report further said that, "in LDCs and sub-Saharan Africa, half of all deaths from pneumonia in children under five years, chronic lung disease and lung cancer in adults are attributed to the use of solid fuel, compared with 38 % in developing countries overall".
"The time has come to make hard choices to combat climate change and enhance global energy security, and at the same time, we should not forget 1.5 bn people who have no access to electricity in the developing world," Fatih Birol, chief economist of IEA, said in the report.

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