Particularly in rural areas, the difficulty of providing energy for human settlements is becoming one of the greatest constraints on the improvement of living conditions. It cannot be expected that the great mass of poor rural people will be able to upgrade their shelter and settlements, unless we can find cheap, practical solutions to the problem of energy supply. For this reason, the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless is vitally concerned with the issue.
This report provides a review of the energy needs of poor settlements, rural and urban, and of some of the avenues to be explored in meeting those needs. It is intended to suggest general guidelines for energy policy which can be considered by the governments of developing countries. It should, however, be seen as part of the over-all effort to upgrade the shelter and settlement conditions of the poor and disadvantaged in developing countries within the framework of the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless.