IKEA Foundation Funds Refugee Aid
29 March 2016 at 9:00 am
The philanthropic arm of global furniture giant IKEA has donated more than €9.4 million (A$14 million) to Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders and Save the Children to assist their aid efforts for Syrian refugee children and their families.
An A$8.5 million IKEA Foundation grant to MSF is earmarked to fund emergency medical aid to children and families in Syria and to refugees in Lebanon and Iraq, including health care, mental health services, and training for medical workers.
Another A$5.5 million grant to Save the Children will support the efforts of local partner organisations in Syria to increase protection for 41,000 children and provide basic services such as health care and education by repairing classrooms, setting up temporary learning spaces, and training and supporting teachers.
The foundation said that more than 11 million people – half the country’s pre-war population – have been killed or forced to flee their homes.
“The funding from the IKEA Foundation is helping MSF provide lifesaving medical care to some of the most vulnerable children and families in Syria and the surrounding areas,” Director of Communication and Fundraising from MSF, Avril Benoit, said.
“In a country where the healthcare system has collapsed, it will enable us to offer essential services such as maternity clinics, paediatric health care and treatment for victims of sexual and gender-based violence.”
Save the Children’s Senior Humanitarian Advisor for Syria, Sonia Khush, said the partnership with the IKEA Foundation would allow the organisation to “reach vulnerable children by supporting local organisations who can access hard-to-reach areas in Syria.”
“This is the first time Save the Children is able to work from all our bases, inside Syria and in neighbouring countries, to deliver a coordinated approach in strengthening the capacity of our partners across Syria.”
Head of Strategic Planning for the IKEA Foundation, Jonathan Spampinato, said: “A generation of children in Syria are losing their childhoods, as the conflict disrupts every part of their daily lives.
“These children are at risk of illness, malnutrition and abuse, while millions have been forced to quit school. The work of organisations like MSF and Save the Children is essential in protecting and supporting Syria’s children, offering them – and the nation – hope for a better future when the conflict ends.”
The IKEA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of INGKA Foundation, the owner of the IKEA Group of companies.