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178 Million Smiles By IKEA Foundation

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More than 178 million children are enjoying a better start in life, thanks to IKEA Foundation-funded programmes. The majority of the children are in India, where the Foundation has been working for 15 years. The announcement came on the International Day of Happiness (March 20), as the Foundation published its 2014 annual review, 178 million smiles, which also revealed that last year alone it gave €104 million in grants and in-kind donations to 40 partners operating in 46 countries. “Achieving this goal hasn’t been easy,” said Per Heggenes, Chief Executive Officer of the IKEA Foundation, “but over the years we’ve grown steadily and developed innovative partnerships with organisations helping millions of vulnerable children in some of the world’s poorest communities.”
The Foundation’s work has ranged from simple but important initiatives, such as providing immunisations or vitamin supplements, to comprehensive programmes supporting entire communities.

Other highlights from the report show that the Foundation:

  • gave €10 million in grants for disaster and emergency relief in 2014, including its biggest-ever emergency donation of €5 million to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to fight Ebola in West Africa
  • had helped 1.2 million babies get much-needed specialist care through UNICEF in India by the end of 2014
  • supplied 6,000 IKEA toys for UNICEF’s Early Childhood Development kits, which were sent to 11 countries in 2014, including Syria, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan
  • donated a total of 150,000 IKEA mattresses, quilts and quilt covers to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) for Syrian refugees living in Iraq.

About the IKEA Foundation

The IKEA Foundation aims to improve opportunities for children and youth in some of the world’s poorest communities by funding holistic, long-term programmes that can create substantial, lasting change. The IKEA Foundation works with strong strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child’s life: a place to call home; a healthy start in life; a quality education; and a sustainable family income.