The Dangote Foundation has spent N6.7 billion towards alleviating and supporting the plight of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across the country in seven years.
Dangote Foundation is the private philanthropic foundation of billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote. It was established with a mission to enhance opportunities for social change through strategic investments that improve health and wellbeing, promote quality education, and broaden economic empowerment opportunities.
The Dangote Foundation was incorporated in 1993 as a charity organization in Lagos, Nigeria and has become the largest private foundation in sub Saharan Africa, with the largest endowment by a single African donor.
The Foundation has been at the forefront of alleviating the conditions of IDPs. In 2011, for instance, the Foundation gave the sum of N364 million to support over 3,600 households with food and non-food items following the violence that erupted in some states in the aftermath of the 2011 general elections Of course the IDPs were spread across Kaduna, Bauchi and Gombe states. Again, the sums of N100 million and N60 million were respectively donated to victims of flood disaster in Lagos and Oyo States the same year.
Also, Dangote Foundation donated the sum of N2.5 billion to support the IDPs affected by the national flood disaster that affected 22 states of the country, while in 2014, the Foundation supported the IDPs displaced by the communal clash in Benue state with N39.35 million and a sum of N32 million to support 5,000 IDP Households across Borno state with food items during the 2014 Ramadan.
In 2015, the Foundation equally supported 5,000 households with N42.5 million across Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states during the Ramadan. Dangote Foundation’s contributed the sum of N100 million to an Appeal Fund raised by Media Trust Limited to cater for the IDPs in the Northeast, while the Foundation’s contributed to American University of Nigeria-Adamawa Peace Initiative to support IDPs in Adamawa State. The Foundation also supported with food and other relief materials worth N35 million and cash donation of N15 million
The sum of N1.3 billion was given for the feeding of IDPs in the Northeast in 2016, even as the Foundation gave out N2 billion towards the reconstruction of Borno State and provided clothings and other relief materials worth N83 million to IDPs in Bama area of the State. Also, in 2017, the Dangote Foundation supported the victims of the communal clash between the Hausa and Yoruba communities in Ile-Ife with a cash donation of N50 million, with each victim given a cheque commensurate to the loss he or she suffered during the crises.
Speaking recently in Lagos, the president of the Dangote Foundation, Aliko Dangote said “I started my foundation, Dangote Foundation back in 1993, based on the simple premise that to whom much is given, much is required, that has meant for me looking at the poor that suffer amongst us and being compelled to bring some relief.
“I believe that supporting social and economic change through investments and interventions that improve the lives of the less fortunate is what will make a positive difference in the growth of my nation,” he said.
He said the foundation is focused on health and nutrition as to reduce the number of lives lost to malnutrition and diseases through access to quality healthcare and nutrition with a particular emphasis on children.
The Foundation drives activities in this area via building primary Health care centers, drilling boreholes for WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene) programs, Partnerships with the Gates Foundation and various States to eradicate polio and increase routine immunization coverage, building a diagnostic center and operating theaters in the Murtala Mohammed Hospital in Kano and malnutrition eradication program across 13 states in the North.
Also, the foundation’s education goal is to reduce the number of out-of-school children, support talented under privileged young people to achieve their potential, and educating girls and women on health related issues while activities already carried out include: Building classrooms, Scholarship programs, upgrading infrastructure across various universities, alternative education programs out of school IDP children, behavior change communication programs targeted to girls and women
The donation to IDPs camps is part of its disaster relief programme, to be responsive to people affected by disasters and helping them get back on their feet. Activities executed include: Support to stopping the spread of Ebola in Nigeria, support to the IDP crisis situation in Nigeria, support to flood victims in Nigeria, earthquake relief in Nepal, and support to the Republic of Niger during the recent meningitis outbreak
While the Economic Empowerment programme is geared towards supporting the poor in sustainably increasing their income. The Micro-Grant Programme is one component of the economic empowerment programmes of Dangote Foundation
The programme, according to Dangote is to cover at least 1,000 women in each of the 774 local governments in a bid to assist the federal government in the onerous task of poverty reduction by equipping the vulnerable women with some money to help them start a trade to improve family life.
During one of the donations of reliefs materials to the victims of insurgency and other IDPs in Borno State, the chief executive of the Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou said the gesture was part of the Foundation’s contributions to the well-being of Nigerians.
“This gesture is in continuation of the Group’s efforts to provide succor to Internally Displaced Persons in Borno State”, she stated.
The governor of Borno state, Alhaji Kashim Shetima, thanked the Dangote Foundation for its continuous support to the people of Borno State, saying “words are not enough to describe how grateful the people of Borno are to Dangote and his Foundation, who has relentlessly come to support and share in our plight in our time of need.”
Shettima said the Dangote Foundation remained the largest single individual donor to the IDPs in the state after the federal and state governments.
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