NEW YORK (August 4, 2011)—IKEA Foundation today announced a donation of 1 million euros, or more than 1.4 million dollars to UNICEF to help save the lives of acutely malnourished children in Somalia. An estimated 1.85 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance in the country, and 780,000 children are acutely malnourished.
Last week UNICEF issued an appeal to all actors to make saving children's lives in southern Somalia the top priority and called for urgent increased donor support. UNICEF's largest corporate partner IKEA responded immediately to make funds available within a matter of days.
The situation in Somalia is the worst food security crisis in the world today. Famine has been declared in southern parts of the country. In the last month UNICEF provided supplementary feeding supplies for 65,000 children in the drought-affected regions. The donation from IKEA Foundation will directly help boost UNICEF's supply pipeline to support the existing 325 supplementary feeding centers, 16 stabilization centers and 201 outpatient therapeutic feeding centers and provide treatment to 130,000 children in urgent need to improve their chances of survival.
"We are extremely grateful to the IKEA Foundation for their generous contribution, which will help make a real difference in the lives of so many children and their families in affected areas,"said Leila Pakkala, UNICEF Director, Private Fundraising & Partnerships.
Per Heggenes CEO, Stichting IKEA Foundation added, "We believe that the situation in the Horn of Africa warrants urgent and critical attention. The first step, very obviously, is to save as many lives as possible, in the shortest possible time, because every minute counts. It is widely acknowledged that the most immediate need is to provide therapeutic and supplementary foods to those children who are on the verge of death."
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian aid organization in the world. Working in more than 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health and immunizations, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency and disaster relief, and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States.
UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality worldwide. There has been substantial progress: the annual number of under-five deaths dropped from 13 million in 1990 to 8.1 million in 2009. But still, 22,000 children die each day from preventable causes. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the essentials for a safe and healthy childhood.
For additional information, please contact:
Andrea Sioris,The U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9136