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IKEA stores around the world to raise funds to brighten lives for refugees

The IKEA Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign returns to over 40 countries to raise millions of euros for refugees. Between November 29 and December 19, for every LED product sold in all IKEA stores and online, the IKEA Foundation will donate Є1 to help UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, provide light and energy from renewable sources to refugee camps—making them a safer, more suitable place for the many families who live there. 

Funds raised by the campaign will help to provide solar-powered street lights, lanterns and solar energy systems that will support energy self-reliance among refugees and host communities in UNHCR refugee camps in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The campaign will also fund improved access to primary education.

At the start of this year, there were 19.5 million refugees globally, more than half of them children. While war and persecution are the leading causes forcing people to flee, UNHCR is also increasingly concerned about climate change and related drivers of displacement including natural disasters such as droughts and floods, and diminishing  natural resources.

IKEA’s Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign started in 2014, and this year sees its final phase. The following are some of the impacts to date:

  • Over 284,000 refugees and members of host communities in Ethiopia and Jordan are able to live in greater safety at night, thanks to the provision of more than 56,000 solar lanterns and the installation of 720 solar street lights.
  • Over 37,000 refugee children have been enrolled in primary school in Bangladesh, Chad and Ethiopia, allowing them to pursue their education. In addition, more than 740 teachers have been trained in those countries.
  • In Bangladesh, 22 biogas plants have been constructed, allowing for 15% of human waste to be processed and generating green fuel for cooking.

“With the millions of people worldwide who are forcibly displaced today, the global context for our work is more challenging than ever,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. “Finding innovative ways to help refugees is enormously important. The clean energy we’re able to provide with the support from the IKEA Foundation is a practical solution to an essential need and transforms the quality of life for many.”

The IKEA Foundation, UNHCR’s largest private sector partner, believes that every child deserves a safe place to call home. Since 2010, it has partnered with UNHCR, helping to provide shelter, care and education to families and children in refugee camps and surrounding communities in parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

“Sadly, the escalating refugee crisis caused by protracted conflict situations around the world does not seem likely to calm down any time soon, and lesser-known factors, such as climate change-induced natural disasters, could force even more people to flee for a safe place to call home,” explained Per Heggenes, CEO, IKEA Foundation.



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 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 9,300 people in 127 countries continues to help in excess of 50 million people. Learn more at www.unhcr.org and www.facebook.com/UNHCR

About IKEA Foundation

The IKEA Foundation (Stichting IKEA Foundation) is the philanthropic arm of INGKA Foundation, the owner of the IKEA Group of companies. We aim 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 IKEA Group

Our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people and we offer well designed, functional and affordable, high quality home furnishing, produced with care for people and the environment. The IKEA Group has 329 stores in 28 countries. In addition there are more than 40 stores run by franchisees outside the IKEA Group. The IKEA Group had 716 million visitors during FY15 and 1.5 billion people visited www.ikea.com