UN: UNHCR partners with IKEA Foundation to raise funds for refugees

New York, US (PANA) - Amid the deepening global refugee crisis, the IKEA Foundation will restart its "Brighter Lives for Refugees" campaign between 29 Nov. and 19 Dec. 19 in 40
countries, through which the foundation will donate 1 Euro to the UNHCR for every light-emitting diode (LED) product sold in all the big-box retailer’s stores and online.

The UN, in a statement on Monday, quoted UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres as saying: "Finding innovative ways to help refugees is enormously important. The clean energy we are able to provide with the support from the IKEA Foundation is a practical solution to an essential need and transforms the quality of life for many."

He noted that the initiative was aimed at providing light and energy from renewable sources
to refugee camps.

According to him, street lights, lanterns and solar energy systems will support energy
self-reliance among refugees and host communities in UNHCR camps in Asia, Africa and
the Middle East and fund improved access to primary education.

He disclosed that, according to UNHCR estimates, there were 19.5 million refugees globally
at the beginning of this year, with more than half that number being children.

"With the millions of people worldwide who are forcibly displaced today, the global context
for our work is more challenging than ever," Mr. Guterres said.

On his part, Mr. Per Heggenes, Chief Executive Officer of the IKEA Foundation, said: "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."

UNHCR reported that the campaign, which started in 2014, would reach its final phase this year.

According to the statement, more than 284,000 refugees and members of host communities in Ethiopia and Jordan are able to live in greater safety at night after 56,000 solar lanterns and the installation of 720 solar street lights were provided to the region.

Additionally, funds generated by the campaign helped more than 37,000 refugee children to be enrolled in primary school in Bangladesh, Chad and Ethiopia, allowing them to pursue their education and also allowed more than 740 teachers to be trained in these countries.
-0- PANA AA/SEG 23Nov2015

23 november 2015 22:09:14

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