Supported by the IKEA Foundation, the Swedish non-profit Better Shelter sends 3,000 temporary shelters to aid Sudan’s humanitarian crisis


The IKEA Foundation pledges EUR 6.7 million to Better Shelter’s emergency fund to support the distribution of shelters to relief efforts in neighbouring countries. Despite the immense humanitarian needs, only 14 % of the required funding has been received. At the beginning of the conflict on April 15, nearly 1.6 million people have been displaced within Sudan and to neighbouring countries, with most refugees being women and children.  

STOCKHOLM. JUNE 8, 2023. The IKEA Foundation pledges EUR 6.7 million to the Swedish non-profit organisation Better Shelter. With this funding, Better Shelter can immediately ship 3,000 temporary shelters to offer safety and protection for Sudanese refugees. 

On April 15, conflict erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in many parts of Sudan. Despite attempts at ceasefires, the fighting has intensified, and it is unlikely that peace will be achieved anytime soon, according to experts. Sudan faced a humanitarian crisis before the conflict began: over 15 million people were food insecure, and over 3.7 million were internally displaced. Additionally, it was home to more than one million refugees, most of whom were from South Sudan. 

Since the conflict erupted in April, 1.6 million people have become displaced within Sudan and neighbouring countries, including Chad and Ethiopia. The number will likely increase as the violence worsens. 

Those who have managed to flee need temporary shelter, food, healthcare, and psychosocial support.  

Each shelter provided by the Swedish non-profit will be equipped with two doors to increase ventilation and adapt them to the arid and hot climate.  

The modular shelters are developed by Better Shelter and UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) with support from the IKEA Foundation, guided by a mission to provide people displaced by conflict and disasters safety and dignity on their path toward a life in peace in a permanent home. The shelters are used not only as temporary homes but as classrooms and clinics in more than 80 countries, including Ukraine, Bangladesh, and Colombia. The shelters are designed to reach remote locations and can be assembled in a few hours without tools. They offer protection against harsh weather and come with a lockable door for added safety and privacy. Additionally, each shelter is equipped with a solar-powered lamp.

“I am deeply concerned by the recent developments in Sudan. The fighting has resulted in hundreds of thousands fleeing to safer areas, facing insecurity and food and water shortages. Thanks to the IKEA Foundation’s generous support, we will shelter 15,000 people who have fled the violence in Sudan. Shelter is a basic human need that offers not only physical protection against the outside world but a safe space for mental healing and recovery from traumatic experiences,” said Johan Mast, acting Managing Director, Better Shelter. 

“The conflict is devastating; more people are predicted to flee into neighbouring countries, and the needs are mounting by the day. We call on the international community to urgently provide the support needed to the people affected by the fighting,” said Johan Mast. 

Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation, said: “The violence in Sudan is a devastating human tragedy. It is our responsibility to alleviate the suffering of those caught in the crossfire. We strongly urge other funders to join us in delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance to Sudan. Let’s come together and make a tangible difference in the lives of those devastated by the conflict.

“We call on all parties to protect health facilities and enable safe humanitarian access.”


About Better Shelter   

Better Shelter is a humanitarian non-profit organisation based in Sweden. It started developing temporary shelters more than ten years ago, with a big mission dedicated to sheltering displaced persons with safety, dignity and hope on their path towards a more stable life in a permanent home of their own. While its work has grown in scale, the small team continues to support partners and deliver shelters internationally from warehouses in Poland, Türkiye, and Panama. Since 2015, Better Shelter has delivered more than 85,000 shelters to emergency, crisis, and development programs in over 80 countries. Better Shelter has impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of displaced persons through collaborations with humanitarian NGOs and INGOs, UN bodies, philanthropic foundations, and academic institutions, including the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, the IKEA Foundation and the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat.  

About the IKEA Foundation  

The IKEA Foundation is a strategic philanthropy that focuses its grant-making efforts on tackling the two biggest threats to children’s futures: poverty and climate change. It currently grants more than €200 million annually to help improve family incomes and quality of life while protecting the planet from climate change. Since 2009, the IKEA Foundation has granted more than €1.5 billion to create a better future for children and their families. In 2021 the Foundation decided to make an additional €1 billion available over the next five years to accelerate the reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions. Learn more at: