A new US$600,000 deal has been signed to provide off-grid solar energy to 10,000 of the poorest households in rural Pakistan.

In a country where 70 million people are not connected to the grid, and the same number again fall into the category of being ‘under-electrified’, the $600,000 provided to EcoEnergy – an affordable solar supplier servicing the Pakistan market – will be used to make a dent in those numbers.

The funding provided by social investment platform SIMA, which is backed by Belgian and Dutch government development banks, will buy technology from leading off-grid solar developer, BBOXX.

“Across Pakistan there are some 70 million people without access to grid electricity. This is holding back social and economic development,” said Shazia Khan, Chief Executive Officer of EcoEnergy. “We have worked hard to gain a deep understanding of off-grid rural Pakistani communities in order to determine the best way to meet their energy needs. SIMA’s visionary work with us in securing this investment will provide us with the tools and services we need to expand the number of customers we can reach in Pakistan.

Shizia added: “We aim to reach 10,000 more households before the end of 2018.”