IKEA stores begin Brighter Lives for Refugees annual fund raising campaign
(Conshohocken – PA, November 23, 2015) The IKEA Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign, a global cause-related initiative, will soon be active in over 40 countries raising millions of dollars for refugees. From November 29 through December 19, 2015, for every LED product sold in all IKEA stores and online, the IKEA Foundation will donate $1 to help UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. These raised funds will help provide light and energy from renewable sources to refugee camp families to enable them to live in safer and more suitable conditions.
Last year, thanks to IKEA customers and co-workers who supported Brighter Lives for Refugees, $11.6 million for refugees was raised. In just the U.S., IKEA raised over $1 million and sold 1,031,275 LEDARE bulbs.
Funds raised by the campaign will help to provide solar street lights, solar powered lanterns, and solar energy systems that will support energy self-reliance among refugees and host communities in UNHCR refugee camps in parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In addition, the campaign will also fund improved access to primary education.
Today, there are 19.5 million refugees globally, half of whom are 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 scarcities of natural resources.
The IKEA Brighter Lives for Refugees (BLFR) campaign started in 2014, and this year will be the last BLFR campaign. The following are some of the results of this campaign 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 continue with 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 both 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," explains Per Heggenes, CEO, IKEA Foundation.
See Brighter Lives for Refugees video at:
For further information about this partnership campaign, please contact:
Communications and Media Relations Manager
Tel: +31 6 556 98 570
Mona Astra Liss
Corporate PR Director
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 more than 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 programs 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
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 328 IKEA Group stores in 28 countries. Additionally, there are 40 IKEA stores run by franchises. There are 41 IKEA stores in the US. In FY 15, IKEA Group had 771 million visitors to the stores and 1.9 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