IKEA Social Initiative Adds $48 million to UNICEF's Child Health and Survival programme

    At $180 Million, Largest Corporate Donor to UNICEF

    TORONTO, Feb. 24 /CNW/ - IKEA, through its corporate philanthropy arm,
IKEA Social Initiative, is further expanding its support for children with a
$48 million donation for UNICEF programmes in India.
    This most recent donation will support UNICEF programmes aimed at
improving the health and survival of tens of millions of women and children in
some of India's most deprived areas.
    UNICEF also announced that, with this donation, IKEA Social Initiative
has become the agency's biggest corporate partner, with total commitments of
more than $180 million from 2000 to 2015.
    "The IKEA Social Initiative makes a serious corporate commitment toward
improving the living conditions in countries where it is working," said Saad
Houry, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director. "IKEA's investment in children's
wellbeing, despite the downturn in the global economy, sets a high standard
for corporate partnership."
    In 2000, UNICEF, IKEA and the Government of India created a partnership
aimed at addressing the root causes of child labour in the carpet belt of
India such as debt, poverty, the lack of access to education, disability and
ill health. It was implemented in 500 villages in Eastern Uttar Pradesh region
of India. This program made it possible for 80,000 out of school children to
get an education and 140,000 children and 150,000 women were immunized. The
program also empowered more than 22,000 women to create sustainable economic
opportunities through self-help groups.
    The partnership between UNICEF and IKEA Social Initiative has bloomed
over the past decade into a multi-faceted long term association that is
delivering tangible benefits in health, education and protection for millions
of children and women not only in India, but also elsewhere in Asia, Africa
and Central and Eastern Europe.
    In India, one woman dies every seven minutes from causes related to
pregnancy and childbirth and nearly one million newborn babies die every year.
The country is home to almost 40 per cent of malnourished children worldwide
with a record 25 million children under five year of age suffering from
wasting and 61 million children stunted due to malnutrition.
    The extended commitment of IKEA Social Initiative will allow UNICEF to
provide additional support for national and state-led strategic and integrated
programmes to improve the health of women and children in India. These
programmes will address the causes of high mortality among children and
mothers and improve children's nutritional status.
    The donation will contribute to health, nutrition, clean water and
sanitation projects. e.g. by providing infants with immunisation and vitamin A
supplements, as well as advocating for breastfeeding and the importance of
nutritious food for children under the age of 24 months; by creating a healthy
environment for children at home and in school; and by ensuring water safety
and better sanitation, such as better access to toilets and learning about
basic hygiene.
    "The resources being provided will allow us to implement critical
long-term programmes that seek to improve child survival, development and
protection," said Karin Hulshof, UNICEF India Country Representative from New
Delhi. "IKEA Social Initiative has chosen to concentrate its long-term
commitments on South Asia, where the needs of children and women are great,
and where IKEA has long business experience."
    Read more about IKEA's work at www.unicef.org

    About UNICEF:

    UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help
children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The
world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports
child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality basic education
for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence,
exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary
contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

    About IKEA Social Initiative

    IKEA Social Initiative 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

For further information:

For further information: Kathleen Powderley, Media Relations Consultant,
UNICEF Canada, Cell: (416) 803-5597, Tel: (416) 482-4444, ext. 8810,
KPowderley@unicef.ca; Madeleine Lowenborg-Frick, Public Relations Manager,
IKEA Canada, (905) 637-9440 x6378

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