Millions of Dollars Raised to Create Better Living Conditions for Refugees

IKEA's Brighter Lives campaign raises $14.6 million for UNHCR

BURLINGTON, ON, April 10, 2015 /CNW/ - UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, thanks IKEA customers and co-workers for supporting 'Brighter Lives for Refugees', a global cause-related campaign that raised $14.6 million CAD (€10.8 million) for refugees, which is a 40% increase over last year. The campaign ran in IKEA stores globally from February 1 to March 28, 2015. During this period, for every LED light bulb purchased by an IKEA customer, the IKEA Foundation donated Є1 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.

"At IKEA, we believe children are the most important people in the world and we are committed to programs that have a significant impact on improving the living conditions of children in need." Says Stefan Sjöstrand, President, IKEA Canada. "The Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign raises funds in order to provide many of those living in refugee camps with life improving solutions."

The money raised since the campaign first started in 2014 has supported:

  • 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 Canada
IKEA is a leading home furnishings retailer with 361 stores in more than 50 countries worldwide, which are visited by 821 million people every year. IKEA Canada has 12 stores which are visited by over 25 million people every year. Last year the IKEA.com websites attracted 1.6 billion visitors. Founded in 1943, IKEA's business philosophy is to offer a wide range of products of good design and function at prices so low, the majority of people can afford them. For more information on IKEA, please visit: www.IKEA.ca.

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

About UNHCR
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 or www.unhcr.ca and www.facebook.com/UNHCR

SOURCE IKEA Canada

For further information: about the Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign, please contact: IKEA Canada, Madeleine Löwenborg-Frick, 905-637-9440 x6378, madeleine.lowenborg-frick@ikea.com; The IKEA Foundation, Jonathan Spampinato, Tel: +31 611756336, E-mail: Jonathan.Spampinato@ikeafoundation.org; UNHCR, Gisèle Nyembwe, Tel: 613-986-4300, E-mail: nyembwe@unhcr.org

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http://www.ikea.ca

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