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Well-Being of More Children in India Will Improve as IKEA Foundation Contributes $81 Million to UNICEF

NEW YORK (September 24, 2013) – UNICEF today announced that the IKEA Foundation has contributed $81 million* (Є 60 million) to its programs in India to improve the health, survival, education and protection of tens of millions of vulnerable children and women.

A child born in India joins an estimated population of 1.2 billion, of which nearly 40 percent are under the age of 18.

The IKEA Foundation is UNICEF’s biggest corporate donor globally. Since 2002, UNICEF programs funded by the IKEA Foundation have impacted the lives of over 74 million people living in 15 states in India.

The expanded support announced today will enable UNICEF to continue to assist the government of India’s efforts to improve the chances of survival, development and growth of all children.

One grant of more than $53 million (Є39.5 million) will help infants and mothers to reduce mortality and malnutrition rates across 13 states. A second grant of nearly $28 million (Є20.7 million) will enable children across 10 states to receive quality education and benefit from a government initiative that provides a safe environment for children living in difficult circumstances. 

Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director welcomed the contribution. “Five million infants and five million mothers in marginalized communities can receive better access to health, nutrition, water and sanitation services” he said.  “And seven million more children can stay in school and receive a quality education”.

India accounts for more than 20 percent of the child deaths and 38 percent of the chronically undernourished children in the world. This is largely due to a lack of access to good quality, essential health services, and insufficient nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene services for children under two and their mothers.

In India, more than 80 million children drop out before completing eight years of schooling and more than eight million children are out of school.

Per Heggenes, IKEA Foundation CEO said: “IKEA Foundation believes all children deserve a quality education and a healthy start in life, so we are providing this significant grant of $81 million (Є60 million) to UNICEF to help develop innovative models designed to improve education and access to vital health services for millions of children and their families in India.”  

The contribution today brings IKEA Foundation’s total investment in UNICEF’s work in India to $213 million (Є158 million) and aims at achieving results for children by 2018.

Background:

In 2002, the IKEA Foundation made its first donation to a pioneering campaign to promote children’s rights in the carpet belt in the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh.  In 2006, the partnership was extended to include projects to end child labor in the cotton-producing state of Andhra Pradesh.  In 2008, with an aim to promote child rights, child survival, growth and development, the partnership expanded across 15 states of the country where more than 28 million children are engaged in child labor and an estimated 4,700 children under the age of five die every day.

About the IKEA Foundation

The IKEA Foundation aims to improve opportunities for children and youth in the world’s poorest communities by funding holistic, long-term programs that can create substantial, lasting change.  The Foundation works with strong, strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieving 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.  Currently funded programs benefit an estimated 100 million children by 2015. Learn more at www.ikeafoundation.org

About UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when zero children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood.

*€1 equals approximately $1.35 US

For additional information, please contact:

Andrea Sioris, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9136, asioris@unicefusa.org

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