More than a year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the needs in the country remain huge and are growing by the day as intensive attacks continue. In close co-operation with UNHCR, IKEA has during the last several months provided over 850,000 home furnishing products to support people who have been forced to leave their homes and hometowns.
The donation includes more than 71,000 mattresses, 75,000 bed sheets, 86,000 blankets, 99,000 kitchen sets and 205,000 pillows. The donation, a joint effort between Inter IKEA Group and Ingka Group, has a total estimated retail value of approximately €9 million.
"More than a year after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, an estimated 13 million people remain uprooted from their homes, including over 8 million refugees across Europe and more than 5 million internally displaced people within the country"
– Karolina Lindholm Billing, UNHCR Representative in Ukraine
UNHCR continues to be on the ground providing crucial assistance to address immediate humanitarian needs and emerging protection challenges.
“The war in Ukraine is a human tragedy. Many stakeholders and organizations need to work together to provide humanitarian aid to people forcibly displaced. The IKEA business has been supporting organizations such as UNHCR, UNICEF, and Save the Children since the beginning of the invasion. Our relief support has included both monetary and in-kind donations to children and their families,” says Malin Petersson Beckeman, Sustainability Engagement & Communications Manager at Inter IKEA Group.
Marcin Majchrzak, who works with customer fulfilment for Ingka Group, the largest IKEA retailer, says the company began organizing the logistical aspects of the Ingka Group emergency community support work a few days after the war began in 2022. To date, a total of 23 Ingka Group countries have been actively donating products to support Ukrainians fleeing to other countries as well as internally displaced people within Ukraine.
"We made a decision very early to support the victims of the war, and we knew we could utilize our supply chain and fulfilment strengths"
– Marcin Majchrzak, Customer Fulfilment for Ingka Group
With a large presence in Eastern Europe, IKEA has been able to manufacture and secure large quantities of products and rely on many major companies and suppliers in the supply chain to work together to move quickly and with high volumes to make these deliveries. “It’s been one of the most meaningful things I’ve ever taken part in,” Majchrzak says.
This donation to UNHCR was partly funded by a previously announced donation in March of 2022 by Inter IKEA Group and Ingka Group. At that time, they both granted €10 million to provide support in products and other assistance to UNHCR, Save the Children and other organisations working to support people both in Ukraine and those fleeing the war to surrounding countries.
Agata Czachórska, Country Sustainability Manager at IKEA Retail Poland, where a vast majority of the shipments into Ukraine originated from, calls the effort the biggest emergency support operation they had ever dealt with.
Approximately 200 trucks filled with products and goods from IKEA have been handed over to UNHCR to use in their important relief efforts in Kyiv and Lviv.
Czachórska says: “I am full of gratitude for co-workers from different IKEA units in Poland who were engaged in organizing these urgent donations, working with ordering, product picking, organizing deliveries to the central warehouse and to Ukraine, preparing formalities and filling in documents. Without their contribution and how they run this amazing logistic “machinery”, we would never have reached people inside Ukraine.”
About Ingka Group
With IKEA retail operations in 31 markets, Ingka Group is the largest IKEA retailer and represents about 90% of IKEA retail sales. It is a strategic partner to develop and innovate the IKEA business and help define common IKEA strategies. Ingka Group owns and operates IKEA sales channels under franchise agreements with Inter IKEA Systems B.V. It has three business areas: IKEA Retail, Ingka Investments and Ingka Centres. Read more on ingka.com.