Helping Refugees, IKEA Foundation and UNHCR Provide Sustainable Lighting and Access to Primary Education

(Conshohocken, PA- January 21, 2015) The Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign returns to make a difference and create a better everyday life for the many refugees living around the world. Starting February 1 and running till March 29, 2015, for every LED light bulb purchased in IKEA stores, the IKEA Foundation will donate one euro ($1.16 * ) to help UNHCR light refugee camps— making them a safer, more suitable place for the families who live there. In its first year (2014), the Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign, raised $10.6 million (€7.7 million ** ) globally, and the US alone raised over $570,000 through IKEA co-worker and customer support.

Today there are almost 13 million refugees *** under UNHCR’s care, half of whom are children. For those refugees living in camps, all livelihoods, social and educational activities usually stop after sundown, because refugee camps can be extremely dark places. Thanks to the Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign, many now have lighting and energy solutions.

Part of the funds from last year’s campaign have been used to help over 11,000 Syrian refugees living in Azraq refugee camp, Jordan, by providing families with a solar-powered lantern, which can be used for mobile-phone charging and as a light source so families can carry on with their everyday activities. Solar lanterns allow girls and boys to study after dark, helping them with their education and progress in school. Lanterns and solar street lights mean that adults can continue working and communities can have social gatherings after sunset.  

IKEA continues to lead in sustainable business practices. In October 2012, IKEA US announced it would make a bold move to sell only LED lights in all its US stores by 2016, thereby enabling millions of people to live a more sustainable life at home and save on their energy bills. 

*one euro (€1) = $1.16 on January 20, 2015

** one euro (€1) = $1.38 on March 20, 2014

*** Facts based on UNHCR Report released January 7.2015. http://unhcr.org/54aa91d89.html

Contact Information:
IKEA US : Mona Astra Liss . 601.834.018/5852

IKEA Foundation : Jonathan Spampinato . Jonathan.Spampinato@ikeafoundation.org . +31 611756336

UNHCR US:   Nick Slijepcevic .   nslijepcevic@usaforunhcr.org . 202.644.7161

About IKEA Group

The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. There are currently 315 IKEA Group stores in 27 countries. Additionally, there are 40 IKEA stores run by franchises. There are 40 IKEA stores in the US. In FY 14, IKEA Group had 716 million visitors to the stores and 1.5 billion visitors to IKEA.com.  IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, please visit www.IKEA.com , facebook.com/IKEAUSA ,  @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA, http://pinterest.com/IKEAUSA/ , www.youtube.com/IKEAUSA www.theshare-space.com , www.theshare-space.com/en/Blog

About IKEA Foundation

The IKEA Foundation 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 sustainable family income. Currently-funded programmes benefit an estimated 100 million children. Learn more at www.ikeafoundation.org and www.facebook/IKEAfoundation

About UNHCR – The UN refugee agency

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, also known as the UN refugee agency, was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. It 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 in another State, 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.

Learn more by visiting:

www.unhcr.org

www.facebook.com/UNHCR

www.twitter.com/refugees

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