UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, thanks IKEA customers and co-workers for supporting ‘Brighter Lives for Refugees’, a global cause-related campaign that raised €10.8m for refugees this year. The campaign ran in IKEA stores globally from 1 February to 29 March 2015. During this period, for every LED light bulb purchased by an IKEA customer, the IKEA Foundation donated €1 to UNHCR. The funds raised by the campaign will help improve the lives of 380,000 refugees in Bangladesh, Chad, Ethiopia and Jordan by providing education opportunities, solar street lights, solar lanterns and other renewable energy solutions.
Among other activities, with the money raised since the campaign first started in 2014:
• 11,000 Syrian refugees living in Azraq camp in Jordan are able to move around safely after approximately 500 solar street lights and LED street lights were installed.
• Over 40,000 families living in refugee camps around Dollo Ado in Ethiopia will have a life after dark as 40,000 solar lanterns and 240 street lights are being delivered now.
• Over 13,000 refugee children are enrolled in primary school in Chad so they can continue with their education.
“The number of displaced people worldwide has, for the first time since World War II, exceeded 50 million people, including 13 million refugees who are under UNHCR’s care. In this context, the engagement of the public worldwide through our long-standing partner the IKEA Foundation has never been more important. I greatly appreciate the efforts of IKEA co-workers and the support of the customers who participated in this global campaign so that we can make the lives of thousands of refugees better and brighter,” said UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees T. Alexander Aleinikoff.
Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation added, “thanks to IKEA’s co-workers and customers, thousands of refugee children and families will now have access to sustainable energy and lighting. Simple activities like sharing a family meal, doing homework and important social gatherings will now be possible for some of the most vulnerable people on our planet.”
About IKEA Group
Our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people and we offer well designed, functional and affordable, high quality home furnishing, produced with care for people and the environment. The IKEA Group has 315 stores in 27 countries. In addition there are more than 40 stores run by franchisees outside the IKEA Group. The IKEA Group had 716 million visitors during FY14 and 1.5 billion people visited IKEA.com. www.ikea.com
About IKEA Foundation
The IKEA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Swedish home furnishings company IKEA, aims to improve opportunities for children and youth in some of the world’s poorest communities by funding holistic, long-term programmes that can create substantial, lasting change. The IKEA Foundation works with strong strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child’s life: a place to call home; a healthy start in life; a quality education; and a sustainable family income. Learn more at www.IKEAfoundation.org and www.facebook.com/IKEAfoundation
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. It also has a mandate to help stateless people. In more than six decades, the agency has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives. Today, a staff of some 8,600 people in more than 125 countries continues to help some 33.9 million persons. Learn more at www.unhcr.org and www.facebook.com/UNHCR