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Ikea Foundation delivers millions in ‘immediate’ aid as refugees pour out of Ukraine

The charitable arm of the Swedish retail group is giving 20 million euros ($22 million) to help people displaced by Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion.

Ikea Foundation delivers millions in ‘immediate’ aid as refugees pour out of Ukraine
[Source Image: Gerard Stolk/Flickr]

A staggering 1 million refugees have already fled from Ukraine’s borders in the first seven days since the start of the Russian invasion, a number that the UN predicts could go as high as 4 million before it’s all over. 

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In response to the escalating humanitarian crisis, Ikea Foundation—the Dutch charity group founded by the late Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad—says it will deliver 20 million euros ($22 million) in aid to people displaced by Vladimir Putin’s brutal campaign. The move comes in response to a direct appeal from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the foundation said in a press release Thursday, with the money being distributed immediately. 

UNHCR estimates that some $270 million is “urgently needed” to combat the crisis inside Ukraine, and that’s just in the first three months. It says another $240 million could be needed to help with the regional effort. In addition to the 4 million refugees who could need assistance in neighboring countries like Poland and Hungary, another 12 million inside the country’s borders are expected to require some kind of relief. Most of those who have already left are women and children.

Ikea Foundation’s announcement comes as Ikea, the furniture brand, said it was effectively pausing operations in Russia and Belarus, making the Swedish retailer the latest in a growing list of corporations that are hoping Putin will respond to economic pressure. The foundation is funded by Ikea’s parent company but run independently, according to the group. 

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