TOE X ICRC: BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS, RESTORING HUMANITY.

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Nearly
22,000 Nigerians have been reported as missing to the International Committee
of the Red Cross (ICRC) during a decade of conflict in northeast Nigeria, the
highest number of missing persons registered with the ICRC in any country.
-ICRC
 
The ICRC is an independent, neutral
organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of
armed conflict and other situations of violence. It takes action in response to
emergencies and at the same time promotes respect for international
humanitarian law and its implementation in national law.
In January 2018, The International Committee
of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) entered a
partnership with the goal of empowering 200 Nigerian entrepreneurs from the
North East and Niger Delta.
“We have been looking for a reliable partner
in Africa, where over 40% of our work is, to help us develop a sustainable
programme that would help people affected by conflict or violence create
income-generating activities. After analysis and discussion with affected
communities, we decided to support start-ups with innovative ideas in the area
of agriculture, healthcare, micro-finance, construction, commerce and fashion,
generated by men and women of all walks of life, with or without prior education,”
were the words of ICRC Deputy Director for Africa, Patrick Youssef.
The partnership aims to support start-up
ventures which specialize in agriculture, healthcare, micro-finance,
construction, commerce or fashion.

 

 
In light of this partnership, on the 12th of
September, our Chairman gave the keynote address at the event organised by the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) themed “Private Sector
Partnerships with Humanitarian Organizations: Putting People First”. The event,
which held at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos, focused on the new approach to
human development in Africa.
 
Tony Elumelu and President ICRC, Peter
Maurer, agreed that entrepreneurship is the most sustainable solution to
accelerating Africa’s transformation.
According to Maurer , “On one side, it is
important that we assist and protect people when they are disrupted by violence
and war. But what brought me together with Tony is not the white shirt and the
blue suit, it is his deep conviction that with longer and protracted conflict,
we need to bring people much earlier into independence.”
He also added: “We need, more than ever, in
the most fragile, violent parts of society to show the pathway to independence
and to a dignified life and this goes with income-generating activities,
productive activities, with small businesses. This is why we partnered with the
Tony Elumelu Foundation”.

 

On his part, Elumelu commended Maurer’s
leadership and the ICRC’s decision to partner. He said: “Through the
partnership, a lot is happening that shows the catalytic impact of your vision.
Ours was the first ever partnership that ICRC had explored using a different
approach to humanitarian development, from the angle of empowering the private
sector.

 

UBA is the only bank that the ICRC uses in
Nigeria to transfer funds to the northeast and other affected areas.
UBA continues to support the ICRC by creating
and sustaining an effective method of cash transfer to beneficiaries from
affected areas thereby bringing people together in independence with income
generating activities, productive activities and small businesses.

 

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