GENEVA, April 29, 2015 /CNW/ - In the aftermath of the violent earthquake that hit Nepal with devastating force on 25 April, IKEA Foundation has contributed €3 million to UNICEF to support emergency relief efforts.
Children are always the most vulnerable in emergencies. Current estimates indicate that over 1.7 million children have been affected by the earthquake in the worst-hit areas of Nepal. In addition to the terror of the experience, the lives that have been lost and homes destroyed, children and families face life-threatening shortages. Throughout the areas affected by the earthquake, families and children are in dire need of assistance to survive the aftermath of the disaster which has left a landscape of destruction in its wake.
The funds from the IKEA Foundation, UNICEF's largest private sector partner, will be critical in supporting UNICEF's relief efforts at this early-response stage, to protect the health and ensure the safety of children and families affected by the disaster.
"We are truly grateful to IKEA Foundation for their swift and invaluable contribution to help UNICEF reach the children and families whose lives have been traumatically affected by the violent earthquake," said Gérard Bocquenet, UNICEF Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships.
Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation, said: "With this commitment, we also encourage the entire private sector to join us and contribute significant financial resources, supporting the response that is urgently required in Nepal. At this devastating time, children are particularly vulnerable and it is they who suffer the most."
UNICEF is mobilizing emergency supplies to Nepal for rapid distribution to areas hit by the country's most deadly earthquake in 80 years. UNICEF is bringing clean water, medical and hospital supplies, tents and blankets, as well as oral rehydration salts and zinc tablets to children and their families. IKEA Foundation's contribution will be critical to helping UNICEF's emergency relief efforts in the difficult days ahead.
UNICEF works in more than 190 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, good 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. For more information about UNICEF and its work, visit <www.unicef.org>. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
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
SOURCE IKEA Canada
For further information: Anna Kowsar, UNICEF Geneva, Tel. +41 (0)22 909 5325, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Jonathan Spampinato - IKEA Foundation, Tel. +31 611 756336, Email: Jonathan.spampinato@IKEAfoundation.org; Canadian Contacts: Genevive Savundranayagam, UNICEF Canada, Tel: 416-482-6552 x8801, GSavundranayagam@unicef.ca; Madeleine Löwenborg-Frick, IKEA Canada, madeleine.lowenborg-frick@IKEA.com