We use cookies to ensure that you have the best experience on our website. If you continue browsing, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all our cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more?

Refugee children

refugee children programme page

Creating better lives for refugee children

Every year, millions of children are forced to flee their homes. Many seek refuge in humanitarian camps, often for years, for safety, shelter, food and clean water. The IKEA Foundation supports refugee families through the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and other leading charities.


Fast facts

  • We’ve committed €76 million to UNHCR to provide shelter, care and education to families and children in Ethiopia, Sudan and Bangladesh.
  • In 2014, we and IKEA launched a new in-store campaign, Brighter Lives for Refugees, to bring sustainable lighting, energy and education to refugee camps. The first campaign raised €7.7 million for UNHCR.
  • In 2013, we donated 50,000 mattresses to UNHCR and €3 million to Médecins Sans Frontières to provide medical care for nearly 150,000 Syrian refugees.



Dollo Ado, Refugees


Brighter lives for refugees

Refugee camps can be dark places. In February and March 2014, IKEA launched a new in-store campaign: Brighter Lives for Refugees. For every LED light bulb sold during the campaign, the IKEA Foundation is donating €1 to UNHCR to bring sustainable lighting and energy, and better education to refugee camps—making them a safer, more humane place for the many families who live there.


Better homes and livelihoods for refugee families

We are funding the development of a safer, more durable emergency shelter for refugee families. The prototype is being tested in the field in 2014. We also support UNHCR’s search for innovations such as solar street lights to improve life in refugee camps. And in Bangladesh and Ethiopia, we support programmes that help refugees become more self-reliant.



Improving education

We support programmes that improve education and that help children and young people living in refugee camps and surrounding communities develop the skills they need to cope with adversity. Through playing sports and other fun activities, young people are encouraged to stay in school, learn valuable life skills and gain leadership opportunities so they can make positive contributions to their communities.


Reconnecting displaced families

Family and friends make a house a home for children. That’s why we fund innovative technology to help refugees and displaced people reconnect with separated family members worldwide.


Sharing our knowledge

Every minute counts when responding to disasters. Our special knowledge donation shares IKEA’s knowledge on logistics, procurement, packaging and transportation with UNHCR, strengthening their ability to respond.




Here are some of the partners we are working with to help refugee children and families


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Refugee Housing

Refugees United

Right to Play


UNHCR Innovation


War Child 




Save the children
Half the Sky Movement
Lila Poonawalla Foundation
Refugees United
The Earth Institute
Refugee Housing
War Child
Right to Play
Forrest Trends