IKEA Foundation boosts commitment to children with six new grants, worth €24.9m, to UNICEF

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Blaise, 6 months old, with a UNICEF caregiver at the Early-Childhood Development Centre during a baseline survey in Rwamagana.  ©Jung Park – UNICEF Rwanda

Blaise, six months old, with a UNICEF caregiver at the Early-Childhood Development Centre during a baseline survey in Rwamagana. ©Jung Park – UNICEF Rwanda

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, IKEA Foundation is boosting its commitment to children with six new grants to UNICEF, amounting to €24.9m.

The new grants will focus on reaching the most marginalised and disadvantaged children living in poor communities and in strengthening UNICEF’s response in emergency and conflict situations.

Five of the IKEA Foundation grants will support UNICEF programmes in Afghanistan, China, India, Pakistan, and Rwanda. The new grants will focus on early childhood development, child protection, education, and helping adolescents to improve their lives and strengthen their communities.

A sixth grant will enable UNICEF to develop information management tools to strengthen emergency response and monitoring.

“UNICEF’s partnership with IKEA Foundation has helped advance the rights and improve the lives of children growing up in some of the world’s most difficult places,” said UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake. “We are grateful to the Foundation and look forward to continuing our work together to reach the children we have not yet reached, and to put equity and children’s rights at the centre of an agenda of action for all children.”

Since the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted in 1989, there has been tremendous progress for children. A baby born in 2014 has a much better chance of surviving beyond the age of five. Children today are far likelier to go to primary school than they were in 1989. The number of children aged 5-17 involved in child labour has declined by almost one third since 2000. Yet too many children have not benefitted from this progress.

IKEA Foundation CEO Per Heggenes said “We are very proud of our longstanding partnership with UNICEF, helping to develop new approaches leading to improved lives for millions of vulnerable children around the world. These new grants will ensure this work continues, helping even more young adolescents, children and families enjoy their basic rights.”

IKEA Foundation is UNICEF’s largest private sector donor. Over the last decade, this partnership has helped promote the rights of millions of children to survival, education and protection in Africa and Asia.

IKEA Foundation’s six grants to UNICEF are:

–       Empowering thousands of adolescents in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan (€12.9m) to take responsibility over decisions impacting their lives and their societies

–       Investing in family- and community-centred services in Rwanda to provide better care for children (€4.6m)

–       Providing thousands of vulnerable children with early childhood development and education in China (€3m)

–       Protecting children from violence, abuse, exploitation and unnecessary family separation in Jammu/Kashmir, India (€2m)

–       Improving the welfare of orphans and other vulnerable children in rural communities of China (€1.5m)

–       Strengthening UNICEF’s humanitarian response and monitoring through better data collection, sharing, analysis, management and reporting (€886,402).