Today is the International Day of Happiness, a fitting day for the IKEA Foundation to announce the happy fact that more than 178 million children are enjoying a better start in life, thanks to programmes the Foundation has funded since 2009.
The announcement was made in the Foundation’s 2014 annual review, 178 million smiles, published today. The majority of the children are in India, where the Foundation has been working for 15 years.
The annual review also reveals that last year the Foundation gave €104 million in grants and in-kind donations to 40 partners operating in 46 countries.
Helping millions of vulnerable children
“Achieving this goal hasn’t been easy,” said Per Heggenes, Chief Executive Officer of the IKEA Foundation, “but over the years we’ve grown steadily and developed innovative partnerships with organisations helping millions of vulnerable children in some of the world’s poorest communities.”
The Foundation’s work has ranged from simple but important initiatives, such as providing immunisations or vitamin supplements, to comprehensive programmes supporting entire communities.
Other highlights from the report show that the Foundation:
- gave €10 million in grants for disaster and emergency relief in 2014, including its biggest-ever emergency donation of €5 million to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to fight Ebola in West Africa
- had helped 1.2 million babies get much-needed specialist care through UNICEF in India by the end of 2014
- supplied 6,000 IKEA toys in 2014 for UNICEF’s Early Childhood Development kits, which were sent to 11 countries, including Syria, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan
donated a total of 150,000 IKEA mattresses, quilts and quilt covers to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) for Syrian refugees living in Iraq.