Swedish nonprofit Better Shelter provides 5000 emergency shelters funded by the IKEA Foundation, to the earthquake response in Türkiye and Syria and urges others to support 

  • The IKEA Foundation commits EUR 10 million to support provision of Better Shelter’s emergency shelters in the earthquake response in Türkiye and Syria.  
  • Better Shelter now urges other businesses, foundations and individuals to match the grant to support life saving efforts on the ground. Better Shelter has set up an emergency fund to enable contributions from private sector and philanthropic partners. 
  • One week after the earthquake on 6 Feb, more than 20,000 people are reported dead and many thousands more are injured while the death toll continues to rise, and humanitarian organisations work against the clock to save and treat survivors.  

STOCKHOLM. 13th Feb 2023. Days after the devastating earthquake, harsh weather and below zero temperatures make life exceedingly difficult for survivors in Türkiye and Syria. The need for shelter and protection is enormous and growing, as hundreds of thousands of people in both countries are currently left homeless. People seek shelter in cars, mosques, and schools as well as tents set up in car parks and in ruins.  

There is an immediate and increasing urgency to deploy emergency homes to save lives and alleviate suffering. A humanitarian partner will begin to deploy Better Shelter’s temporary units in Hatay, Türkiye, to offer immediate protection and safety for families currently without a home.

To further this support, Better Shelter has set up an emergency fund to enable contributions from private sector and philanthropic partners. 

“The generous support provided by the IKEA Foundation will give crucial protection to many thousand people in this difficult time. We are proud to support our humanitarian partners in Syria and Türkiye working day and night to help survivors. We now ask businesses to step forward and  join our efforts to support even more people who have lost everything” says Johan Karlsson, Managing Director, Better Shelter. 

Better Shelter has collaborated with UN agencies and local NGOs in the region since 2020, with more than 10,000 of its modular shelters serving as temporary housing, field clinics and classrooms for internally displaced Syrians across northwest Syria. Some camps currently see an influx of people displaced by the earthquake, who receive shelters to live in.  

The modular shelters are developed by Better Shelter and UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) with support from the IKEA Foundation, guided by a mission to provide people displaced by conflict and disasters safety and dignity on their path toward a life in peace in a permanent home. The shelters are used not only as temporary homes, but as classrooms and clinics in more than 80 countries including Ukraine, Bangladesh and Colombia. The shelters are shipped in flatpacks, can be assembled without tools in hours and protect against harsh weather. Each shelter has a lockable door for safety and privacy and a solar powered lamp.  

IKEA Foundation, CEO, Per Heggenes said, As the devastating impact of the earthquake further unfolds, it becomes clear that our collective efforts are required to support the many children and families who are left without a home and access to basic necessities of life such as lifesaving medical care, shelter and security. The need for safe, dignified shelter against the cold and freezing temperatures is urgent and growing. The IKEA Foundation has committed EUR 10 million to support Better Shelter and we hope they bring some comfort to those who have lost so much. But much more is required so we call on the support of other funders and businesses to contribute to the emergency fund set up by Better Shelter” 

Press contact: Märta Terne, Head of Communications, Better Shelter   

marta.terne@bettershelter.org  +46 702 99 18 80  


About Better Shelter  

Better Shelter is a humanitarian non profit organisation based in Sweden. We 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 our work has grown in scale, our small team continues to offer support to our partners and deliver our shelters internationally from our warehouses in Poland, Türkiye, and Panama. Since 2015, we have delivered more than 80,000 shelters to emergency, crisis, and development programs in over 80 countries. We have been able to impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of displaced persons through our collaborations with humanitarian NGOs and INGOs, UN bodies, philanthropic foundations, academic institutions, including the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, the IKEA Foundation and the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat. 

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 €1.5 billion to create a better future for children and their families. In 2021 the Foundation decided to make an additional €1 billion available over the next five years to accelerate the reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions.

Press Contact: Lotika Mehta, Lotika.mehta@ikeafoundation.org

Media contact

In collaboration with
Better Shelter