There has been an overwhelmingly positive outpouring of global support for the more than six million people who’ve fled Ukraine since the war began. However, their journey is far from over. Now UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has confirmed that around the world, the number of people forced to flee conflict, violence, human rights violations and persecution is over 100 million for the first time in modern history.
In response to this alarming figure, Ingka Group and UNHCR are coming together to support the millions of mothers, fathers, daughters and sons who have been forcibly displaced around the world.
This year, starting on World Refugee Day on June 20, Ingka Group, in partnership with UNHCR, will be running the “Together for all refugees” campaign. In addition to working to break down biases and misconceptions around refugees to promote empathy, Ingka Group hopes to raise €20 million for UNHCR to close the funding gap and support refugee humanitarian emergencies.
“100 million is a stark figure – it is sobering and alarming. It’s a record that should never have been set,” says Dominique Hyde, Director of External Relations, UNHCR. “We must all redouble our efforts to come together for these innocent people.”
The campaign aims to raise the challenges refugees face to a wider audience and foster discussion and reflection, while also sharing the voices and perspectives of refugees. The campaign will also highlight ways for each one of us to take everyday actions to support refugees – being kind, staying informed and making contributions in support of organizations such as UNHCR.
In addition to the actions mentioned above, people will be able to easily donate online and in-store, with the aim to raise €20 million to UNHCR to help close the funding gap for refugee humanitarian emergencies.
Why is IKEA focusing on refugees?
Ingka Group has been working to create a positive change with and for refugees in its neighborhoods since 2015. Then in 2019, different IKEA related entities committed to working more systematically to create a better every day and improve the long-term prospects for as many refugees as possible.
Around the world, refugees and displaced people are looking for opportunities which enable them to become better integrated into their new community. Corporations and the private sector can play a major role. Ingka Group recognizes that refugees bring skills, diversity and different perspectives that benefit business and society
“At IKEA, we think that all of us should have the right to a better life – no matter who we are or where we come from,” says Tolga Öncü, Retail Operations Manager, Ingka Group. “Helping refugees find work isn’t just a humanitarian effort. It’s good for business.”
Ingka Group’s Skills for Employment initiative has so far supported more than 1,400 refugees and asylum seekers to improve their employability and language skills and provide work experience to get access to work either at Ingka or other companies. This is an increase of 900 people since last year, and it will be accelerated even further to reach 2,500 people in 30 countries by the end of 2022.
Ingka Group has also announced it will approach 500 businesses with the aim to inspire the private sector to accelerate the labour integration of refugees. The company is also sharing their lessons learned in a toolkit to support and inspire more businesses to open pathways to decent work.
The “Skills for Employment Toolkit: A how-to guide for opening pathways to decent work for refugees,” features a 7-step process, learnings and tips Ingka Group has gathered over the years. It’s meant to act as a catalyst that inspires and encourages companies to do the meaningful work of integrating refugees into the workforce.
“We strongly believe that everyone is a talent, and we will ensure that our workplace is as diverse as the world is, and as inclusive as the world should be,” says Öncü. “And we’re encouraging everyone to take a stand together with all refugees.”
About Ingka Group
With IKEA retail operations in 32 markets, Ingka Group is the largest IKEA retailer and represents about 90% of IKEA retail sales. Ingka Group employs more than 170,000 co-workers and reported IKEA Retail sales of EUR 37.4 billion at the end of financial year 2021. 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.
About UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, protects people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. We work in over 130 countries, protecting millions of people by responding with life-saving support, safeguarding fundamental human rights and helping them build a better future. Find out more: https://www.unhcr.org/