London- Swedish firm Ikea plans to roll out a new range of rugs and textiles made by Syrian refugees in 2019, an initiative that is expected to create jobs for about 200 displaced Syrians living in Jordan, most of them women.
“The situation in Syria is a major tragedy of our time, and Jordan has taken a great responsibility in hosting Syrian refugees… We decided to look into how Ikea can contribute,” said Jesper Brodin, a managing director at Ikea.
According to CNN, Ikea said it’s in the process of working with local organizations that focus on womens’ issues to get the project up and running.
Jordan has accepted just over 655,000 Syrian refugees, according to the United Nations.
Recent data from the U.N. shows about 37,000 work permits have been issued in Jordan for Syrian refugees, though many Syrians work without permits. There’s a very low rate of employment among women, who are traditionally tasked with taking care of children.
Ikea has undertaken a range of initiatives to help refugees and was recently given a top design award for its flat-pack refugee shelter.
The shelter — developed by Ikea and the U.N. — won the 2016 Beazley Design of the Year award from the Design Museum in London.
The company has also donated €30.8 million ($33.3 million) for lighting and renewable energy projects in refugee camps in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Ikea, which was founded in Sweden, has 340 stores in 28 countries and employs nearly 164,000 people.