Nigerian music icon, Innocent Idibia known by his stage name Tuface, has donated 3.5 million naira to the UN refugee office in the country. He has also disclosed that a charity concert will be held in June to help raise more funds.
The funds which come up to over $11,000 is expected to go into humanitarian interventions particularly in the area of helping victims of the Boko Haram insurgency.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja confirmed the donation from the Tuface Foundation. They, however, said the intervention was for displaced persons in the country and across the continent.
The musician is quoted to have said, ‘‘I am proud to support the UN Refugee Agency because of its proven track record of being at the forefront of displacement emergencies,’‘ adding that ‘‘I want to help people who have been forced to flee their homes because of different issues.’‘
A UNHCR official said whiles the outfit was largely funded by governments, together with other partners, they required some $2.5bn to provide crucial life-saving assistance to displaced families. He said Africa was home to over 19.4 million of the world’s 63.9 million displaced persons.
Nigeria is experiencing one of its worst humanitarian crisis stemming from years of insurgency by the Boko Haram sect. The insurgents till 2015 held parts of the northeastern Borno State, where the group was born. A military counter-insurgency had restricted them to sporadic attacks and use of suicide bombers to attack soft targets.
The United Nations has said that funding was urgently needed to support Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Nigeria – Africa’s most populous nation. International donors last week pledged $672 million for the next three years to avert famine in the Lake Chad region.
During a two-day meeting held in Norway’s capital Oslo, aid agencies said they must get food to close to 3 million people by July, to avert famine in the region threatened by Boko Haram militants.
The most urgent need is to reach 2.8 million people with rice or sorghum or cash to buy supplies by July, the UN’s World Food programme (WFP) added. Already, half a million children under the age of five are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
Lake Chad region comprises northeastern Nigeria, northern Cameroon, western Chad and southeastern Niger. The region is one of the poorest in the world.
It has been ravaged by eight years of violence which has killed around 15,000 people while more than 2 million have been forced to flee their homes.