PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA – Swedish furniture company IKEA has teamed with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to design and manufacture homes for refugee families, according to The Local Sweden.
Johan Karlsson of the Refugee Housing Unit said the goal was to improve upon the refugee tent, and that the housing units are easy to transport and set up in the field. The refugee shelters were designed by a group of Swedish designers within the Refugee Housing Unit and are equipped with insulation and solar panels which provide enough electricity for lighting.
The refugee shelter project, into which the IKEA Foundation has poured nearly $4.5 million, remains at the prototype stage and the first batch of shelters are set to be tested by the UNHCR in a camp in Ethiopia. Test families will be able to provide feedback on the shelters as part of the UNHCR evaluation of the project.
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