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The IKEA Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign raises €10.8­ million for UNHCR

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Geneva, 10.04.2015

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, thanks IKEA customers and co-workers for supporting ‘Brighter Lives for Refugees’, a global cause-related campaign that raised €10.8­ million for refugees this year. The campaign ran in IKEA stores globally from 1 February to 29 March 2015. During this period, for every LED light bulb purchased by an IKEA customer, the IKEA Foundation donated €1 to UNHCR. The funds raised by the campaign will help improve the lives of 380,000 refugees in Bangladesh, Chad, Ethiopia and Jordan by providing education opportunities, solar street lights, solar lanterns and other renewable energy solutions.

Among other activities, with the money raised since the campaign first started in 2014:

  • 11,000 Syrian refugees living in Azraq camp in Jordan are able to move around safely after approximately 500 solar street lights and LED street lights were installed.
  • Over 40,000 families living in refugee camps around Dollo Ado in Ethiopia will have a life after dark as 40,000 solar lanterns and 240 street lights are being delivered now.
  • Over 13,000 refugee children are enrolled in primary school in Chad so they can continue with their education.

“The number of displaced people worldwide has, for the first time since World War II, exceeded 50 million people, including 13 million refugees who are under UNHCR’s care. In this context, the engagement of the public worldwide through our long-standing partner the IKEA Foundation has never been more important. I greatly appreciate the efforts of IKEA co-workers and the support of the customers who participated in this global campaign so that we can make the lives of thousands of refugees better and brighter,” said UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees T. Alexander Aleinikoff.

Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation added, “thanks to IKEA’s co-workers and customers, thousands of refugee children and families will now have access to sustainable energy and lighting. Simple activities like sharing a family meal, doing homework and important social gatherings will now be possible for some of the most vulnerable people on our planet.”

For further information about the Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign, please contact:

IKEA Foundation spokesperson

Jonathan Spampinato,

Head of Communications & Strategic Planning

Mobile: +31 611 756 336

UNHCR Spokesperson

In Geneva, Babar Baloch, on mobile +41 79 557 9106

UNHCR Global media contacts: http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e6e9c42e.html (Please copy paste link in a new web browser window)