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Rwanda, 18 November 2014: IKEA Foundation contributes US$31.5 million to UNICEF in five countries to help advance children’s rights; Rwanda receives US$5.5 million

18 November 2014, New York/Rwanda– 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 US$31.5 million.

The new grants will focus on reaching the most marginalized and disadvantaged children and in strengthening UNICEF’s response in emergency and conflict situations.

Five of the IKEA Foundation grants will support UNICEF programmes 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 centre 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 primary school than they were in 1989. The number of children aged 5-17 involved in child labour 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.

UNICEF Rwanda is receiving a grant of US 5.5 million for Early Childhood Development & Family: Investing in family and community-centred services.

To ensure that children get the best start of life in Rwanda, families with young children will receive parenting education to provide effective and responsive care, and investment in home-based and community-based ECD and Family services will improve access to quality care and other basic social services. This multi-sectoral approach to address multiple rights of children will include WASH, Child Protection, Social Protection and improved linkage with community-based health and nutrition. The programme will also support implementation of child-sensitive policies enforced at national and at decentralized level.

UNICEF Rwanda will continue to work in partnership with the Government of Rwanda, Imbuto Foundation, NGOs and UN agencies to support the scale up of Early Childhood Development in Rwanda.

“As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we are delighted to receive this major grant from IKEA Foundation. The grant will go a long way to support the scale up Early Childhood Development & Family interventions which are a priority for the Government of Rwanda” said UNICEF Representative, Noala Skinner.


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 programmes 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 programmes will benefit an estimated 100 million children by 2015. Learn more at and www.facebook/IKEAfoundation.

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:

Anna Kowsar, UNICEF Geneva – Tel. +41 (0)22 909 5325,

Jonathan Spampinato, IKEA Foundation – Tel. +31611756336,

Sid Shrestha, UNICEF Rwanda – Tel. +250 (0) 788301419,




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