How the IKEA Foundation Provides Power To The People Who Need It Most

This World Earth Day, the IKEA Foundation is announcing six new climate grants, totalling €40 million, to help 630,000 people in Asia and Africa get access to clean, renewable energy. The IKEA Foundation’s climate partners will use this funding to improve the lives and livelihood opportunities of communities that are vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change.

Habitat for Humanity aims to develop and construct a 1.5 MW solar-power plant and connect households in Uganda to it.

One Acre Fund will equip farmers with improved seeds, solar lights and training so they can better feed their families and adapt to a changing climate in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.

SELCO Foundation will design and implement sustainable energy solutions that improve health, education and income generation in underserved communities in India.

The Rainforest Alliance will empower tea-farming communities in Kenya to switch to more sustainable and efficient renewable energy using biomass briquettes and solar technology.

UNHCR and Practical Action will work in refugee camps in Rwanda and in urban settings in Jordan to deliver affordable and sustainable renewable energy to homes, schools, businesses and health clinics.

It is extremely difficult for people living in extreme poverty to lift themselves out of it unless they have reliable energy sources. These communities are also the least able to adapt to the negative consequences of a changing climate. By providing access to renewable energy, the IKEA Foundation is not only giving families the means to change their lives for the better, but also helping them survive and recover more quickly when disasters strike.

“Poverty escapes are not a one-way street, and the negative impacts of climate change are threatening the progress many impoverished communities have made so far. For these communities, building resilience represents one of the best ways to adapt to a changing climate. This is what we are trying to achieve with these new partnerships,” Jeff Prins, Programme Manager for the IKEA Foundation, stated.

According to the latest data, just over 1 billion people around the world live without electricity. More than 580 million of them are in sub-Saharan Africa, and more than 275 million are in India. Energy poverty doesn’t just prevent communities from giving their children a prosperous future. It also kills millions of people every year. The toxic fumes that pollute their homes shorten their lives by years. World Health Organization estimates put the number of deaths linked to indoor air pollution in 2012 to 4.3 million.

Habitat for Humanity

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort. The housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit

One Acre Fund

One Acre Fund is a nonprofit social enterprise that supplies smallholder farmers with the financing and training they need to grow their way out of hunger and poverty. Instead of giving handouts, we invest in farmers to generate a permanent gain in farm income. We provide a complete service bundle of seeds and fertilizer, financing, training, and market facilitation—and we deliver these services within walking distance of the 500,000 rural farmers we serve. We measure success in our ability to make farmers more prosperous, and we always put Farmers First.


UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, leads international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. We are dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. We develop life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water, we help safeguard fundamental human rights, and we develop solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home. In the field in over 125 countries, we use our expertise to protect and care for more than 65 million people.

Selco Foundation

SELCO Foundation inspires and implements socially, financially and environmentally inclusive solutions by improving access to sustainable energy. Being a pioneer in linking sustainable energy and poverty alleviation, it believes that decentralized energy innovations when implemented with the goal of impacting health, education and livelihoods can transform communities and demonstrate a more sustainable future for the world.

Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization working to build a future in which nature is protected and biodiversity flourishes, where farmers, workers, and communities prosper, and where sustainable land use and responsible business practices are the norm. We envision a world where people and nature thrive in harmony. In January 2018, the Rainforest Alliance merged with UTZ, a global program and label for sustainable farming. Our head offices are in Amsterdam and New York, with regional offices around the world.

Practical Action

Practical Action has been working with poor communities around the globe since being set up 50 years ago by the economist and philosopher EF Schumacher. Schumacher wrote the revolutionary book, Small is Beautiful and believed in putting people’s real needs at the heart of development. That is the guiding principle that informs everything we do today. We believe that the right idea, however small, can change lives. For more information about Practical Action, log on to