The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated and deepened crises in many parts of the world, while also raising questions of global equity in the context of vaccine distribution. However, it is only one of many daunting challenges faced daily by those in protracted crises. Refugee camps and other zones of humanitarian intervention serving displaced populations are among the hardest to plan for, given the operational complexities — both immediate and protracted — associated with infrastructure deployment and the maintenance that such forms of distribution require. ‘Containerized’ infrastructure solutions have the potential to power the needs of under-resourced communities at the Food/Water/Health nexus and have gained interest in recent years as a way to mediate the temporal and political uncertainties associated with basic needs provision for off-grid, underserved, or remote populations. Drawing from a uniquely large sample of identical containerized infrastructure deployments in Rwanda, we estimate the potential reach and impact that a massive scale-up of such a flexible, modular approach could entail for fast-growing yet resource-constrained communities around the world. We consider three separate use cases and find in optimistic scenarios that this containerized solution could provide for either 2,083 people’s daily drinking water needs, 1,674 people’s daily milk consumption, or 100% of a health clinic’s energy demand.
Keywords Containerized, Food/water/health nexus, Energy access, Modular, Crisis, Climate