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The IKEA Foundation Pledges More Than €11 Million in Emergency Humanitarian Aid for Sudan


The IKEA Foundation has donated €5 million to Médecins Sans Frontières - Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to provide urgent medical care and supplies to people affected by the recent fighting in Sudan. It has also donated €6.7 million to Better Shelter to deploy 3,000 units to meet the immediate shelter needs of people displaced by the deadly conflict.

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Illustration of fighting in Khartoum, Sudan Copyright: MSF/Atsuhiko Ochiai Countries: Sudan Date taken / Date Recorded: 04 May, 2023 Caption / Description: Aerial view captures the fighting and violence that erupted in Khartoum, Sudan. (Photo: Business Wire)

Intense fighting broke out in Khartoum, Sudan on 15 April and has since spread to other parts of the country. Local hospitals have been overwhelmed as people arrive with serious injuries caused by gunshots, explosions and airstrikes. The country’s health system, which has been struggling for decades, is facing a huge increase in needs and a shortage of supplies.

Within Sudan, many of those forced to flee are arriving in overcrowded urban areas already hosting internally displaced people. Sudan is also hosting more than one million refugees who have fled violence in neighbouring countries. This is placing immense strain on overstretched resources and exposing vulnerable people to risks such as evictions, family separation and gender-based violence.

Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation, said: “The violence in Sudan is a devastating human tragedy. It is our responsibility to alleviate the suffering of those caught in the crossfire. We strongly urge other funders to join us in delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance to Sudan. Let’s come together and make a tangible difference in the lives of those devastated by the conflict”

Urgent life-saving care by MSF

The IKEA Foundation’s donation will help MSF provide life-saving care both through medical interventions and by distributing supplies. It will also contribute to supporting MSF's activities across 10 states in Sudan. MSF teams have been treating war wounded, providing healthcare services and supplies, and water and sanitation.

Stephen Cornish – Director General – Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) – Geneva Operational Centre said: “As the conflict in Sudan spirals into its second month and humanitarian needs outstrip response capacity, IKEA Foundation’s backing of our medical work across the country marks a collective resolution to take all possible measures to support those caught in the violence.

“The contribution is a testament to the determination and professionalism of our teams on the ground, who despite the many challenges and obstacles remain committed to extending life-saving healthcare. We are deeply thankful for the steadfast support of the IKEA Foundation. Today’s donation of €5 million will go a long way in helping us to provide humanitarian and medical aid to those most affected by the ongoing crisis.”

Immediate shelter needs by Better Shelter

An estimated 1.4 million Sudanese people have been displaced by this conflict already. This includes people fleeing internally and those crossing borders into neighbouring countries, including Chad and Ethiopia. Food, shelter, and protection services are among people’s urgent needs. To meet the immediate need for shelter as expressed by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Better Shelter will deploy 3,000 units immediately to neighbouring countries.

Johan Mast, Acting Manager Director, Better Shelter, said: “The current situation in Sudan is alarming. Millions of people are experiencing insecurity, food and water scarcity, and various challenges that require urgent attention. We are very grateful for the IKEA Foundation stepping in to assist and pleased to offer shelter to 15,000 individuals affected by the crisis. Shelter is a fundamental human need that provides physical protection and helps with emotional healing and recovery from the traumatic experiences they have endured.”

About the IKEA Foundation

The IKEA Foundation is a strategic philanthropy that focuses its grant making efforts on tackling the two biggest threats to children’s futures: poverty and climate change. It currently grants more than €200 million per year to help improve family incomes and quality of life while protecting the planet from climate change. Since 2009, the IKEA Foundation has granted more than €1.8 billion to create a better future for children and their families.

In 2021 the Board of the IKEA Foundation decided to make an additional €1 billion available over the next five years to accelerate the reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions.

When an emergency strikes, time is of the essence. To provide the most efficient response, the IKEA Foundation provides extraordinary emergency funding to a select few partner organisations, who work mainly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. In 2023 we have provided more than €31 Million in emergency funding.

About Médecins Sans Frontières

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) translates to Doctors without Borders, is a non-profit, self-governed, member-based organisation. MSF provides medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare. MSF teams are made up of tens of thousands of health professionals, logistic and administrative staff. Their actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of impartiality, independence and neutrality.

Since 1978, as a first-hand witness and responder to the dire needs of the Sudanese people, MSF has mobilised teams across 12 states, implemented around 20 projects from primary and secondary healthcare, mobile clinics, nutrition, reproductive and mental healthcare to vaccination, health promotion, and water and sanitation.

About Better Shelter

Better Shelter is a humanitarian non-profit organisation based in Sweden. It started developing temporary shelters more than ten years ago, with a big mission dedicated to sheltering displaced persons with safety, dignity and hope on their path towards a more stable life in a permanent home of their own. While its work has grown in scale, the small team continues to support partners and deliver shelters internationally from warehouses in Poland, Türkiye, and Panama.

Since 2015, Better Shelter has delivered more than 85,000 shelters to emergency, crisis, and development programs in over 80 countries. Better Shelter has impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of displaced persons through collaborations with humanitarian NGOs and INGOs, UN bodies, philanthropic foundations, and academic institutions, including the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, the IKEA Foundation and the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat.

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