IKEA, DPDHL and Unilever are among the companies that are responding to the needs of refugees in camps bordering Syria

While more than one million refugees made it to Germany millions more are living in refugee camps in countries bordering Syria. That’s where many European companies are targeting their efforts.  

One of the first is IKEA, which is taking an initiative to encourage social entrepreneurship – begun in India five years ago – to the epicentre of the refugee crisis. Together with its partner, the Jordan River Foundation, the aim is to find women who have craft skills, or want to learn them. Vaishali Misra, business leader for social entrepreneurship at IKEA Range & Supply, says it will work with locals too. They “really welcome” the business partnership, because they have borne the economic pressures caused by the influx of refugees into the cities. It’s not the first time Ikea has worked with refugees and migrants: the Ikea Foundation has some seven partnerships this part of the world.

‘We believe trade is good and it is sustainable. I’ve been to the refugee camps in Jordan and met the women and more and more my realisation is that is the best way,’ says Mishra.

The limited range of textile and carpet designs produced here will be sold at its new Jordan store,...

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UNHCR  Syrian crisis  Tent Partnership  Jordan River Foundation  Direct Relief  Human rights 

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