Sunday 26 February 2017



Malak* and Lua’e* were displaced from Sa’ada and now live with their family in Amran. Mohammed Awadh/Save the Children


To enable Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Save the Children to continue to save lives and protect children and families in Yemen, the IKEA Foundation has stepped forward to give a €2 million grant to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and €500,000 to Save the Children.

Yemen is on the verge of social, economic and institutional collapse as a merciless war continues to rage. People are struggling to survive. Since the escalation of the conflict in March 2015, over two million people have fled their homes, putting host communities under pressure and leading to insufficient food and inadequate access to basic medical care for many.

“The IKEA Foundation is proud to support MSF and Save the Children’s work in Yemen, and it’s why we’re encouraging other funders to do the same. The international community has not done enough to prevent children and families in Yemen from suffering. If we don’t act now, the consequences are unthinkable”, says Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation.

For nearly two years, civilians and hospitals have been indiscriminately attacked. Hundreds of health facilities have stopped functioning due to airstrikes and shelling, or because of lack of funding, supplies and staff. MSF is working in Ibb governorate – one just 20km from the frontline – where, in addition to treating trauma patients, teams are also performing surgery, providing maternal and paediatric care, and are responding to outbreaks of disease.

“The war in Yemen has created a countrywide humanitarian crisis”, says Bruno Jochum, General Director of MSF. “Yet this emergency remains largely forgotten. Through this grant, the IKEA Foundation is giving financial support to our emergency action on the ground, and its backing of our life-saving medical action is recognition that more needs to be done urgently.”

With the IKEA Foundation’s funding, Save the Children will focus on helping the most vulnerable children in Sana’a and Amran governorates. They will provide food baskets and help caregivers understand how best to nourish children under two. Mobile child-protection teams will be created, and support will be given to children who have become separated from their families. Save the Children will also provide psychosocial support to children and caregivers who have directly experienced violence.

Grant Pritchard, Save the Children’s Deputy Country Director in Yemen, said: “Bombs are landing on homes, they are landing on schools, and they are landing on hospitals, resulting in the displacement of nearly 1 million children and the needless loss of nearly 1,500 innocent children’s lives while thousands more have been maimed since the conflict escalated. We are grateful for the support from the IKEA Foundation, which will do much to improve the lives of thousands of hungry, malnourished and vulnerable children. And I hope that other donors will follow the IKEA Foundation’s example, given the catastrophic humanitarian crisis we are witnessing on the ground.”

Yemen’s children are at the heart of one of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Save the Children estimates that ten million children urgently need help. According to the organisation, one Yemeni child dies every ten minutes from preventable killers like diarrhoea, malnutrition and respiratory tract infection. Over two million children are malnourished—and the number is rising.

The IKEA Foundation hopes that other funders will follow their example, to ensure that the people of Yemen get the help they need.