IKEA Foundation to send 150,000 mattresses, quilt covers and quilts to UNHCR refugee camps

BURLINGTON, ON, May 25, 2011 /CNW/ - The spiraling conflict in Libya has sent several hundred thousand people fleeing from their homes to bordering countries. The IKEA Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the retail giant, will send around 60 containers containing products for the benefit of refugees in Tunisia. IKEA in collaboration with UPS will contribute to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee's (UNHCR) work for refugees reaching Tunisia by sending 50,000 mattresses, 50,000 quilt covers and 50,000 quilts, the latter especially adapted to the often harsh conditions in the refugee camps.

Since the violence erupted in Libya in mid-February 2011, hundreds of thousands of people have fled to neighboring countries, mostly to Egypt and Tunisia, while thousands more are waiting to cross these borders. By May 9th some 350,000 had crossed the borders to Tunisia alone. UNHCR established its presence in Tunisia on February 24th 2011 to respond to the mass influx of people crossing into Tunisia to escape the violence in Libya. In its preparations for the coming months, UNHCR will be providing shelter and protection and distribute essential goods.

"One of the areas that IKEA Foundation has chosen to focus on is refugees of conflicts and natural disasters - one of the world's most vulnerable groups - to help them prepare for reclaiming their everyday lives more quickly and more fully." Says Kerri Molinaro, President, IKEA Canada. "When it comes to emergency relief, we support where we, together with our partners, see a short term need for certain IKEA products or provide financial support in the later re-building phase."

About IKEA Foundation
IKEA Foundation manages social involvements on a global level. The mission of IKEA Social Initiative is to improve the rights and life opportunities of the many children - fighting for children's rights to a healthy and secure childhood with access to quality education. UNICEF and Save the Children are the main partners, with a range of projects take a holistic approach for creating a substantial and lasting change: improving the health of mothers and children, enabling access to a quality education for children, and empowering women to create a better future for themselves and their communities.

About IKEA
IKEA is a leading home furnishings retailer with 321 stores in 38 countries worldwide, which are visited by 565 million people every year. IKEA Canada has 11 stores which are visited by over 21 million people every year. Last year the IKEA.com websites attracted 711 million 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.


For further information:

Media Contact:
Madeleine Löwenborg-Frick
National Public Relations Manager,
IKEA Canada
T: 905-637-9440 x6378


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