United Nations Refugee Office Receives $62 Million From Ikea Foundation

The (UNHCR) has announced a three-year, $62 million gift from the Netherlands-based to assist up to 120,000 Somali refugees recently arrived at Dadaab, the world's largest refugee complex, in Kenya.

While details about how the funds will be deployed have not been finalized, UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said that in the short-term the largest gift in the agency's history will support efforts to assist Somali families and children suffering from malnutrition, including those in critical condition. Built to accommodate 90,000 people, Dadaab currently is home to approximately 440,000 refugees, 150,000 of whom have arrived in the last three months.

The gift was awarded as part of a broader partnership between the foundation and UNHCR that was initiated a year ago and includes support for the agency's work in Bangladesh, eastern Sudan, and Kenya. In addition to financial contributions, IKEA has provided in-kind support to UNHCR's emergency operations in Kyrgyzstan and Tunisia, as well as expert assistance in logistics, packaging, and warehouse management.

"This humanitarian gesture by the IKEA Foundation comes at a critical time," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres. "The crisis in the Horn of Africa continues to deepen, with thousands of people fleeing Somalia every week. We are extremely grateful. Help like this can't come a moment too soon."

"." UNHCR Press Release 08/30/2011.