AUN-API Insurgency Appeal Fund nets N50m from Dangote Foundation

Posted by News Express | 19 October 2015 | 2,430 times

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The One Billion Naira Insurgency Appeal Fund sponsored by the American University of Nigeria (AUN) in partnership with Adamawa Peace Initiative (API) has received a N50 million boost from Dangote Foundation.

The Fund, to be used to rehabilitate persons displaced by Boko Haram, was officially launched in Lagos on October 6. Alhaji Aliko Dangote, leading industrialist and Chairman of Dangote Foundation, had at the occasion promised to assist the IDPs.

Dr. Margee Ensign, the President of AUN and Chair of API, said over the weekend in Yola that news of the N50 million donation from Dangote Foundation was conveyed to her on October 15 via a letter. She disclosed that N35m of the donation will be given in kind: rice, spaghetti, sugar, seasonings, salt, vegetable oil, and 5,000 blankets.

The AUN President had in a chat late August with News Express and some other major onlinepapers stressed the urgent need for peace, development and reconstruction of the terror-ravaged North-East Nigeria, painting a depressing picture of the dire situation faced by those displaced by the Boko Haram crisis.

Dr. Ensign highlighted how AUN-API has helped thousands of vulnerable Nigerian youth obtain an education, develop valuable life skills, and nurture the fortitude to resist recruitment by Boko Haram, which has slain innocent children, women, and men, causing more than 1.5 million survivors to flee their homes.

AUN-API, she continued, counts among its members prominent Muslims and Christians, traditional rulers, academic and business leaders, NGOs, and other members of the Yola community,  and has the capacity and nimbleness to address the challenges in real time, given adequate access to aid money, food, and other supplies.

At another forum, she spoke of how, with strong extended family bonding in the local culture, most displaced people now live with relatives rather than in refugee camps. The AUN Presodent noted that while an estimated 405,000 IDPs fled to Yola, yet only 15,000 sheltered in refugee camps. She also noted that the international aid community is generally ill-equipped and inexperienced in dealing with refugees outside of camps or camp-like settings, people the AUN-API partnership has been able to reach.

“We know our community and we are in a unique position to bring diverse resources together to find and implement solutions to crises, prevent our youth from succumbing to the temptation to join extremist organisations, and bring stability to the region. Our collaborative model works, and we believe that governments, international NGOs, and other organisations working in regions of conflict should pre-identify local peace groups such as ours, and evaluate and use these local networks to implement assistance,” Dr. Ensign told a Geneva meeting of the UN High Commission for Refugees in July this year.

Photo shows AUN President and API Chair, Dr. Margee Ensign.


Source: News Express

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