Rwanda receives US$5.5 million from IKEA to boost children's welfare

IKEA Foundation has extended US$5.5 million to Rwanda in support of the country's efforts to improve the welfare of children.
The $5.5 million donation from the IKEA Foundation focuses on early childhood development, child protection and education. (Internet photo)
The $5.5 million donation from the IKEA Foundation focuses on early childhood development, child protection and education. (Internet photo)

IKEA Foundation has extended US$5.5 million to Rwanda in support of the country’s efforts to improve the welfare of children.

The funding is part of a US$31.5 million grant from the giant Swedish furniture maker, which will benefit five countries, including China, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The grant will focus on early childhood development, child protection, education, and helping adolescents to improve their lives and strengthen their communities.

The announcement was made as part of the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The funding will be channelled through Unicef, which will also receive a specific grant to develop information management tools to strengthen emergency response and monitoring.

Unicef Rwanda has earmarked the funding to early childhood development and investing in family and community-centred services.

To ensure that children get the best start of life in Rwanda, families with young children will receive parenting education to provide effective and responsive care, and investment in home-based and community-based ECD and family services will improve access to quality care and other basic social services, according to a statement.

This multi-sectoral approach to address multiple rights of children will include WASH, Child Protection, Social Protection and improved linkage with community-based health and nutrition. The programme will also support implementation of child-sensitive policies enforced at national and at decentralized level.

Unicef Rwanda pledged to continue working in close partnership with the Government of Rwanda, Imbuto Foundation, NGOs and UN agencies to support the scale up of Early Childhood Development in Rwanda.

“As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we are delighted to receive this major grant from IKEA Foundation. The grant will go a long way in supporting the scale-up of Early Childhood Development & Family interventions which are a priority for the Government of Rwanda” said Unicef Representative, Noala Skinner.

Since the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted in 1989, there has been tremendous progress for children. A baby born in 2014 has a much better chance of surviving beyond the age of five.

“We are very proud of our longstanding partnership with Unicef, helping to develop new approaches leading to improved lives for millions of vulnerable children around the world. These new grants will ensure this work continues, helping even more young adolescents, children and families enjoy their basic rights,” IKEA Foundation CEO Per Heggenes said.

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