UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency received a N10 million-naira donation from the Daystar Christian Centre, a benevolent faith organisation based in Nigeria. The donation, approximately USD 30,000 will support people forced to flee their homes because of conflict, violence or persecution in Africa.
“This donation will be used to provide life-saving emergency assistance to families forced to flee their homes,” said Antonio Canhandula, UNHCR Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, adding that “Nigeria is unfortunately a country that is also affected by this phenomenon, not only in North-East, but also the Middle belt. Many displaced populations do not have where to sleep, no access to water, and access to health care facilities is very limited. They do not participate in the economy and cannot fend for themselves”.
UNHCR is almost entirely supported by donations from governments who contribute 89 per cent of its annual funding needs. With the number of the world’s displaced at more than 68.5 million – an unprecedented level of over 25million of those living in Sub-Saharan Africa – 76% of whom are women and children – the needs are enormous. In Nigeria, the crisis has displaced millions from north-east Nigeria into camps in and out of Nigeria.
“Our donation is a commitment towards restoring the resilience of families forced to flee across the continent,” the centre’s senior pastor Sam Adeyemi, remarked when handing over the cheque to UNHCR in Lagos, Nigeria. “When people flee their homes and leave everything they own behind, their needs become critical, and their coping mechanisms compromised. Without help, they cannot access shelter, or even cooking utensils – let alone education and healthcare. Some arrive with severe trauma after facing unimaginable ordeals before and during flight. We at Daystar are happy to support UNHCR’s work on the ground to provide emergency relief and support to our forcibly displaced brothers and sisters,” he added.
“Your commitment to help uprooted families is truly appreciated. This is the spirit of sharing that demonstrates our oneness as humanity. Daystar Christian Centre is paving the way for other civic organizations in this great nation to support our brothers and sisters fleeing conflict. Africa has vast potential to finance the needs of its displaced persons through its rich spirit of giving and human solidarity,” added Canhandula.