Can a furniture store help refugees build a future?
Ikea, a Swedish multinational furniture company, is striving to create a better everyday life for as many people as possible – including refugees as part of their 2030 ambition to create a positive social impact for everyone across their value chain.
The Refugee Crisis
Statistics from The UN Refugee Agency show that, as of May 2018, there are over 68 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, and with over 44,000 people forced to flee their country each day, due to conflict and persecution, these stark figures are on the rise.
A Warm Welcome
With nearly 1 person forcibly displaced every two seconds, the work communities are doing is now more important than ever. To help combat this crisis, Ikea co-workers are volunteering their time to help refugees establish themselves in their new countries. They have help fund opportunities for the refugees to find work experience, develop language skills and integrate into their new communities.
Integration, Safety and Security
Whilst Ikea is helping refugees integrate once they have arrived at their new countries, they are also providing safety and security through their “Better Shelter” initiative. “Better Shelter” in cooperation with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, provides one-room units that offer refugees in camps more dignity, safety and privacy than the tents that have been used since World War II. They can last up to 6 times longer than a typical refugee tent, they are lockable and are also illuminated by solar-powered LED lights that can even be used to charge mobile phones.
This story exemplifies how Ikea supports Goal 1: No Poverty, specifically target 1.1: “By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.”
Founded in 1943, Ikea is a Swedish multinational group, that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories. They now own and operate 415 stores in 49 countries.
Learn more about Ikea and The Ikea Foundation.