The IKEA Foundation has announced grants totaling €9.4 million ($10.6 million) to Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders and Save the Children in support of efforts to assist Syrian refugee children and their families.
A €5.7 million ($6.4 million) grant to MSF will fund emergency medical aid to children and families in Syria and to refugees and other vulnerable people in Lebanon and Iraq, including essential health care, mental health services, and training for medical workers. A €3.7 million ($4.2 million) grant to Save the Children will support efforts to strengthen the efforts of seventeen local partner organizations in Syria to increase protection for forty-one thousand vulnerable children and provide basic services such as health care and education by repairing classrooms, setting up temporary learning spaces, and training and supporting teachers.
With the conflict in Syria now in its fifth year, more than 11 million Syrians — half the country's pre-war population — have been killed or forced to flee their homes, while essential services such as schools and health care in many areas have completely disintegrated.
"A generation of children in Syria are losing their childhoods, as the conflict disrupts every part of their daily lives," said Jonathan Spampinato, head of strategic planning for the IKEA Foundation. "These children are at risk of illness, malnutrition and abuse, while millions have been forced to quit school. The work of organizations like MSF and Save the Children is essential in protecting and supporting Syria’s children, offering them — and the nation — hope for a better future when the conflict ends."