ImpactAlpha, January 23 – The philanthropic arm of Swedish furniture company IKEA is committing €6.8 million ($7.7 million) to a development impact bond providing vocational skills training to Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.
More than 1.6 million refugees live in the two countries, making up 7% and 16% of their populations respectively. Impact advisory firm Kois has developed a livelihoods’ focused impact bond that aims to support up to 12,000 refugees, primarily women, in starting home-based businesses over the next three years. The model is based on a“humanitarian impact bond” that Kois launched last year with the Red Cross.
Kois’ development impact bond is part of a new and growing field of “refugee investing.” IKEA Foundation—which has developed a reputation for its involvement in refugee-related initiatives—has backed the program on a conditional basis, pending total commitments of at least $20 million.