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IKEA stores raise funds to help refugees
December 1, 2015, 1:31 pm

The IKEA Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign returns to over 40 countries to raise millions of euros for refugees. Between 29 November – 19 December, for every LED product sold in all IKEA stores, the IKEA Foundation will donate Є1 to help UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, provide light and energy from renewable sources to refugee camps,  – making them a safer, more suitable place for the many families who live there.

Funds raised by the campaign will help to provide solar street lights, solar powered lanterns, and solar energy systems that will support energy self-reliance among refugees and host communities in UNHCR refugee camps in parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In addition, the campaign will also fund improved access to primary education.

Today, there are 19.5 million refugees globally, half of whom are children. While war and persecution are the leading causes forcing people to flee, UNHCR is also increasingly concerned about climate change and related drivers of displacement including natural disasters such as droughts and floods, and scarcities of natural resources.

IKEA’s Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign started in 2014, and this year sees its final phase. The following are some of the impacts to date:

  • Over 284,000 refugees and members of host communities in Ethiopia and Jordan are able to live in greater safety at night, thanks to the provision of more than 56,000 solar lanterns and the installation of 720 solar street lights.
  • Over 37,000 refugee children have been enrolled in primary school in Bangladesh, Chad and Ethiopia, allowing them to continue with their education. In addition, more than 740 teachers have been trained in those countries.
  •  In Bangladesh, 22 biogas plants have been constructed, allowing for 15 percent of human waste to be processed and generating green fuel for cooking.

“With the millions of people worldwide who are forcibly displaced today, the global context for our work is more challenging than ever,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. “Finding innovative ways to help refugees is enormously important. The clean energy we’re able to provide with the support from the IKEA Foundation is both a practical solution to an essential need and transforms the quality of life for many.”

The IKEA Foundation, UNHCR’s largest private sector partner, believes that every child deserves a safe place to call home. Since 2010, it has partnered with UNHCR, helping to provide shelter, care and education to families and children in refugee camps and surrounding communities in parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

“Sadly, the escalating refugee crisis caused by protracted conflict situations around the world does not seem likely to calm down any time soon, and lesser-known factors such as climate change-induced natural disasters could force even more people to flee for a safe place to call home," explains Per Heggenes, CEO, IKEA Foundation.

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