June 26th, 2013
09:33 AM ET

Helping refugees – Ikea style

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Take a look at the video and the stark images of refugees around the world. From Syria, the Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq. Across the globe, some 45 million people have been forced from their homes by political conflict or violence. That's the highest in 18 years, according to the U.N.

For this grim world, there is perhaps a bit of good news on the horizon. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees currently has two options for emergency shelter – a tent or a tent. Anyone who's ever slept in a tent knows it's far from optimal for long-term stays. Along comes the Ikea Foundation, the charitable arm of the furniture giant.

Armed with its wealth of experience mass producing big items that pack up small, it allied with the refugee housing unit and came up with a hard-sided shelter, powered by solar, that even the tallest Somalis can stand up in. It packs up flat and is expected to cost about $1,000. Fifty-six of these prototypes are en route to refugee camps in Ethiopia, Lebanon and northern Iraq for testing. Just don't lose the instruction manual – or the little wrench that comes in the box.

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soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. sand

    soon usa brritain ireland dublin norway oslo ghana and australia is going to get nuked 1 blow to the head and its game over if usa wants a fight then just start 1 its time to remove the jewish cancer cell tumor from this world.

    June 26, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Reply
    • chris

      nice!

      June 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  2. JAL

    I like this article. Each of these countries, I'm sure, have great solutions, but they don't have the funding to move forward with it. It is time to take graceful consideration, when it comes to economic partnerships around the world.

    June 26, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  3. j. von hettlingen

    The founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad is the richest person living in Switzerland with an estimated fortune of some $35 bn. The 87 year-old is home sick and is returning to Schweden to spend the last years of his life. He has lived an extremely modest life, despite his wealth.

    June 27, 2013 at 8:45 am | Reply
  4. Rick McDaniel

    Let us know how that experiment works out.

    Cheap housing is going to be needed everywhere, in the future, as we continue to populate the human race, out of existence.

    June 27, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  5. Paul Appletona

    I would not reccomend using these in Palestine, as these sites have been dependent on US/UN for 2 going on 3 generations. I would focus this improvement on newly forming camps/places of displaced persons...such as Syria.

    July 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Reply

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