Sunday, September 04, 2011

Ikea gives €43 million donation to help Somali refugees

A charitable foundation linked to the Swedish furniture chain, Ikea has given the United Nations its largest ever private donation in the agency’s 60-year history (€43 million or £38 million) to refugees who have fled civil war and famine in Somalia. This huge sum of money will be used to expand the world’s largest refugee complex in Dadaab, Kenya over the next three years, according to UN officials. The complex was first opened in the early 1990s and designed to hold 90,000, but it now holds 440,000 refugees, including 150,000 who have arrived in the last few months. The refugee crisis is still growing fuelled by violence, drought and famine in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres said that the donation would help up to 120,000 people fleeing a crisis that “continues to deepen with thousands of people fleeing Somalia every week”. UN officials also confirmed that the donation was examined with “due diligence” before it was accepted due to a recent controversy about the Nazi past of Ingvar Kamprad, Ikea’s founder.

-Nisha Noor