Ikea Ships Easy-to-Build Refugee Shelters to Syria

Geo Beats
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Swedish furniture company Ikea is working with a branch of the United Nations called the UNHCR to provide shelters for people in Syria.

Swedish furniture company Ikea is working with a branch of the United Nations called the UNHCR to provide shelters for people in Syria.
They have designed a flatpack shelter that can be easily shipped to people in need, and quickly built using the prefabricated materials.

Made of plastic panel walls that connect to a metal frame, the shelters can house up to five people, and come equipped with solar panels that create electricity.

50 prototypes have been sent out in Ikea cardboard boxes to refugees in Syria, and they are reportedly capable of lasting up to three years after being built.

The Ikea Foundation has invested 4 point 8 million dollars into the shelter project, which is still in development.

Olivier Delarue, the head of innovation for the UNHCR said: “Our tents… still rely on canvas, ropes, and poles, and they usually only last… around six months. We realized that Ikea had expertise in certain areas, such as logistics and flatpacking, that we could learn from.”

Statistics from the UNHCR say that around three and a half million refugees are living in tents and temporary shelters all over the world.

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