10,000 Flat-Pack IKEA Shelters for Iraqi Displaced

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The UN refugee agency has placed an order for 10,000 flat-pack refugee shelters designed by a social enterprise arm of furniture giant IKEA, with first delivery planned within months to camps across Iraq, where some 2.5 million people have been displaced by conflict.

Work on the Better Shelter units began more than five years ago and aprototype was unveiled in 2013.

Now, after an 18-month pilot involving 40 families in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Iraq, UNHCR says the design is ready to be rolled out to scale. Each shelter is designed for a family of 5 or 6.

“The units comprise the best elements of a tent in that it’s pre-packed, of minimal weight and produced to core standards, but it also has a rigid, self-supporting frame and it provides more physical security and dignity for its occupants,” explained Shaun Scales, chief of shelter and settlement at the UN’s refugee agency UNHCR, making the roll-out announcement at the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development (DIHAD) conference.

With floor space of 17.5 square metre and made from a lightweight steel frame and plastic panels, the shelters have been designed to withstand both extreme heat and severe cold.

They are 1.75 metres high and, unlike tents, allow people to stand up straight inside. They have lockable doors, ventilation, solar panels, mosquito nets and lights.

Source: IRIN (link opens in a new window)

philanthropy, social enterprise