Leading technology and Infrastructure Company, General Electric (GE) has made a donation of $1m to UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) to support the humanitarian needs of displaced children in Borno state. UNICEF is supporting Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in both host communities and IDP camps across Nigeria to provide urgently needed healthcare to children and their mothers.
President and CEO of GE Africa Jay Ireland who officially presented the donation to Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state said the gesture was part of GE’s efforts to avert a humanitarian crisis due to the insurgency in north eastern Nigeria. Mr Ireland called for concerted efforts to end the insurgency stating that “no country can develop properly without adequate security of lives and property. He commended efforts by government to curtail the insurgency in the country. This donation will support UNICEF’s work to save the lives of displaced children and families in the region.”
UNICEF’s Representative in Nigeria, Ms Jean Gough said funding was urgently needed to protect the more than two million people displaced in Nigeria by the conflict. “This generous donation will help UNICEF to increase the capacity of health workers to provide both emergency and primary health care services for the displaced in Borno State,” she said. “It will also help us to improve the health structures in both the IDP camps and in the host communities where many of the displaced have sought shelter.”
Detailing the impact of UNICEF’s work in IDP camps since the insurgency started, Ms Jean Gough disclosed that in Borno alone, over 217,804 conflict affected people, men, women and children have benefitted from the Primary Health Services offered through the camps and host community clinics and outreach clinics. Services included: immunisations for children below five years; antenatal care provided by skilled attendants and more than 630 safe deliveries were conducted in the IDP camps alone.
Governor Shettima said he was delighted by the donation and called on other corporate organisations to emulate the GE gesture. Governor Shettima said “GE has gone down in history as the first corporate organisation to donate $1m to help ease the plight of IDPS ” before adding that there are over two million internally displaced persons across the country living in host communities and over 42 camps. He said Government alone could not meet the growing humanitarian needs in the IDP camps.