Norton Rose Fulbright represented an initial senior investor group in connection with the formation of the Energy Access Relief Fund (EARF), a first-of-its-kind relief fund to protect energy access in the wake of COVID-19 for nearly 20 million people in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The EARF was launched with a first close of US$68 million and a target of over US$80 million.
The EARF is the culmination of an unprecedented partnership convened by Acumen, including CDC Group, US International Development Finance Corporation, FMO, Green Climate Fund, Shell Foundation, IKEA Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, World Bank, International Finance Corporation, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, USAID and Power Africa.
Norton Rose Fulbright acted for the initial senior investors led by US International Development Finance Corporation, CDC Group, FMO and Acumen. The financing will provide relief capital in the form of short-term loans to an estimated 90 energy access companies in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia still struggling with disruptions wrought by COVID-19.
Broken supply chains, increased costs of solar components and continued COVID-19 lockdowns have crippled the energy access industry, which provides renewable energy solutions to customers in low-income and last-mile communities. The coalition of committed global investors and donors created the EARF to protect the industry's progress toward United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7: universal energy access.
Norton Rose Fulbright's deal team included Ike Emehelu (New York), Rachel Rosenfeld (Washington, DC), Christopher Vale (New York), and Vanisha Weatherspoon (Austin); Malibuye Cossie (Johannesburg); Geert-Jan van Rijthoven, Floortje Nagelkerke, Joris Ravelli and Nivard Witte (Amsterdam).