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Press Release

IKEA Foundation contributes $31.5 million to UNICEF to help advance children’s rights

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

New York (November 18, 2014) – 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 $31.5 million.

The new grants will focus on reaching the most marginalized 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 programs 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 center 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 elementary school than they were in 1989. The number of children aged 5-17 involved in child labor 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 ($16.1 million) 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 (nearly $5.5 million)
  • Providing thousands of vulnerable children with early childhood development and education in China ($3.75 million)
  • Protecting children from violence, abuse, exploitation and unnecessary family separation in Jammu/Kashmir, India ($ 2.5 million)
  • Improving the welfare of orphans and other vulnerable children in rural communities of China ($1.87 million)
  • Strengthening UNICEF’s humanitarian response and monitoring through better data collection, sharing, analysis, management and reporting ($1.11 million).

About 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 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 sustainable family income. Currently funded programs will benefit an estimated 100 million children by 2015. Learn more at and www.facebook/IKEAfoundation.


The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by 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 no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit

About the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The Convention on the Rights of the Child explicitly recognizes the universal rights of all children. It is the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights treaty in history and has inspired changes in laws and practice that have improved the lives of millions of children in every region of the world.

For more information, please contact:

Andrea Sioris, U.S. Fund for UNICEF—Tel. 212-880-9136 – Email: