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UNICEF Commends IKEA for Partnership

NEW YORK, 27 March 2007- UNICEF today thanked IKEA for the Swedish company’s donation of Euros 1.75 million toward the health and well-being of children around the world.  The total is a 48 per cent increase from the 2005 soft toy promotion. 

"The IKEA Soft Toy promotion was a tremendous success for children, thanks to the IKEA’s initiative,” said Kul C. Gautam, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF.  “Our partnership is priceless, as we share a common commitment to continue to work towards measurable results in the best interest of children.”

2006 marked the second year of the IKEA campaign, “€1 is a fortune... A child’s smile is worth so much.”  For every soft toy sold in the more than 200 IKEA stores, IKEA donated €1 or its national equivalent to UNICEF and/or Save the Children.

The “€1 is a fortune...” campaign supports a range of programmes across the globe. In Guinea, the fund helps to integrate sports and physical education into schools - a catalyst for better learning and development. IKEA’s corporate gift in Pakistan helps to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation, and provides necessary services for recovery and re-integration of affected children into society.  In Romania, IKEA funded projects help to prevent child labour and other forms of exploitation through the promotion of community-based services and support to families.

“This was a fantastic opportunity for IKEA, our co-workers and our customers to help children in need,” said Marianne Barner, IKEA Communications Manager and Children’s Ombudsman. “I believe our partnerships with UNICEF and Save the Children contributes to a better world, and IKEA will be happy to continue being part of important projects focusing on children’s education and health.”

Over the course of UNICEF’s ten-year long partnership for children IKEA’s support to UNICEF has exceeded US$25 million, including a multi-million dollar investment in support of child protection and immunization programmes in the Uttar Pradesh region of India, US$2.8 million in support of Right to Play programmes in Angola and Uganda and more than US$4 million in cash and in-kind donations to UNICEF programmes in tsunami-affected countries and the region affected by the recent earthquake in Pakistan.

IKEA’s support has taken several forms, including direct donations, sales of UNICEF greeting cards, marketing promotions aimed at assisting in specific issues, and in-kind assistance.

There are currently 237 IKEA stores in 23 countries. Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishing and accessories of good design and function at low prices so the majority of the people can afford them. IKEA incorporates socially and environmentally friendly efforts into day-to-day business and continuously supports initiatives that benefit causes such as children and the environment. For more information on IKEA please see our Social & Environmental Report 2005 on the IKEA Group website at www.IKEA-group.ikea.com.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information, please contact:

Kate Donovan, UNICEF New York, (1-212) 326-7452, kdonovan@unicef.org

Charlotte Lindgren, Corporate PR KEA Group, +46- 42 26 71 35, TTEL@memo.ikea.com




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