The partnership is helping to create better lives for thousands of refugee families and children through:

  • Critical funding and support to UNHCR operations: Large-scale cash and in-kind contributions for 10 operations across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, with a focus on education, livelihoods and renewable energy.
  • Developing new products and services: Going beyond philanthropy, UNHCR and the IKEA Foundation share a genuine commitment to innovation. The IKEA Foundation supports UNHCR Innovation and has been working with our teams to develop a safer, more durable shelter, designed to improve the living conditions of people displaced by natural disasters and conflicts.
  • Raising visibility for the refugee cause: IKEA Foundation is helping UNHCR reach out to millions of IKEA customers and co-workers. In 2014 and 2015, UNHCR and IKEA Foundation partnered to run the Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign - a cause marketing campaign to raise funds for UNHCR.

Areas of collaboration

Core grants: IKEA Foundation currently supports our organization through multi-year grants for projects in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Bangladesh. In particular, IKEA Foundation has contributed and pledged over EUR 79 million for our work in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia, over the period 2012-2017.

Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign: In 2014 and 2015 UNHCR and IKEA Foundation partnered to run the Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign - a cause related marketing campaign to raise funds for UNHCR. For every LED bulb and lamp sold in an IKEA store during the campaign period, the IKEA Foundation donated ?1 to UNHCR. From over 300 IKEA stores in over 40 countries, the campaign raised EUR 30.8 million for refugees. The funds are helping improve access to lighting, renewable energy solutions and primary education in refugee camps in parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

In-kind donations: Since 2010, IKEA Foundation has donated over 750,000 bedding items (mattresses, quilts, quilt covers) to UNHCR. These items have been distributed in Tunisia, Kyrgyzstan, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. In addition, over 200,000 Sunnan solar lamps have been distributed in Kenya, Ethiopia, Jordan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

iWitness: Since 2013, UNHCR has been a partner in IKEA Foundation’s iWitness programme. Every year, selected IKEA co-workers from stores around the world get the opportunity to visit projects run by the IKEA Foundation’s partners. While travelling, they share daily updates on their personal experiences on the IKEA Foundation IWitness blog, so that other co-workers, customers, friends and family can see how IKEA Foundation and its partners are helping children and their families in some of the world’s poorest communities.

UNHCR Innovation: Going beyond philanthropy, UNHCR and the IKEA Foundation share a genuine commitment to innovation. With seed funding and inspiration from IKEA Foundation, UNHCR Innovation was formed in April 2013 under the leadership of our former High Commissioner Mr António Guterres.

Nansen Refugee Award: IKEA Foundation is the corporate supporter of the Nansen Refugee Award, an annual award which recognises an individual, group, or organisation for outstanding service to the cause of refugees and the displaced.

Key stats and figures

Locations: Algeria, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sudan, Tunisia.
Beneficiaries: Refugees living in camps and host communities.
Contributions: Over USD 198 million.
Areas of intervention: Education, Shelter, Livelihoods, Renewable Energy.

Contact us

If you are interested in exploring a partnership with UNHCR, please contact us at partnership@UNHCR.org

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