Dealflow | January 24, 2019

IKEA Foundation backs development impact bond for refugees

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

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.

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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.