Nigerian Afro-pop icon 2Face recently offered a hefty donation Monday to the victims of the humanitarian crisis that has gripped northeastern Nigeria following years of unrest from the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency.
Through his charity, the 2Face Foundation, the artist, born Innocent Idibia, presented a cheque of N3.5million ($10,000) to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), according to Daily Trust.
2Face, who made the donation during a visit to the UNHCR office in Lagos, said that a recent visit to the camp of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northeastern Nigeria had left him with a desire to contribute to their welfare.
“The conditions I met the internally displaced persons, when I visited their various camps, were terrible. They were really terrible.
“The 2Face Foundation has, therefore, decided to enter in to partnership with the UNHCR to see how we can help put smiles on the faces of these persons.
“My foundation is today presenting this cheque to the UNHCR to support it in its operations of alleviating the sufferings of these IDPs,” 2Face said.
2Face, known for his international hit “African Queen,” also promised to support and promote the activities of the UNHCR with his music and talents.
In her remarks, Nigeria’s UNHCR Acting Country Representative Brigitte Mukango-Eno expressed her gratitude to the multiple award-winning singer and applauded his philanthropy.
“We sincerely want to express the gratitude of the UNHCR to 2Face. This is a right step toward our private sector following.
“Over these years, it has become important for us, as an organization, to depend on the private sector, for us to be able to meet our responsibilities.
“2Face has scored a very important goal by discovering the UNHCR Office within the UN system.”
Mukango-Eno further called on other well-meaning members to emulate 2Face, adding that her agency needed all the public support it could get.
The UNHCR sponsors its activities almost exclusively from government donations, but with a recent explosion in the refugee crises in Africa, the organization has had to solicit funds from the private sector.
“We want to use this opportunity to appeal to other private Nigerians and philanthropists to emulate this gesture by the 2Face Foundation in alleviating the conditions of the IDPs in the North East,” Mukango-Eno said.
2Face’s donation comes in the wake of a report of warnings from several international aid agencies that at least 75,000 children in Nigeria — many of them victims of the Boko Haram crisis — face starvation due to rising food insecurity in northeastern Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin region.
The report also said at least another 14 million people were in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.