By Muhammad Amaan
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Al-Habibiyya Islamic Society have agreed to mobilise N500 million annually, to improve the living conditions of three million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria.
The National Chief Imam of Al-Habibiyyah, Fuad Adeyemi, stated this while addressing newsmen at a ‘Donor Journey’ workshop organised for the members of Al-Habibiyyah by UNHCR, on Thursday in Abuja.
Adeyemi explained that UNHCR introduced a programme in which they partner with private individuals and business owners to raise funds for the IDPs.
According to him, Al-Habibiyyah Islamic Society is the first organisation in Nigeria to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UNHCR to mobilise funds for IDPs and refugees in the country in June.
Adeyemi said, “So, in order to strengthen our efforts in mobilising funds, we organise this training with them to gain from their over 17 years of raising funds if this nature.
“UNHCR offered to train us to build our capacity on what we know how to do best so that we can do it better even after our agreement expired.”
The cleric said the funds would be raised through Zakat (alms giving), government and other organisations that were willing to donate to support the IDPs.
He said, “It is not about religion this time around, it is about humanity and that is why we will reach out to big conglomerate, big organisations to support us.
“We are targeting like N500 million for this programme annually.”
Earlier, Mr Shadi Ghrawi, Deputy Regional Manager, UNHCR, Private Sector Partnerships, Africa, said UNHCR was working with different partners to provide IDPs with humanitarian support they needed.
He said, “The partnership that we have with the Al-Habibiyya is a very unique one because it is focusing on the angle of raising funds to mobilise resources to provide the most vulnerable internally displaced persons with the immediate needs they actually need.
“We are meeting here today with the team that is coming from our partners, the Al-Habibiyya Islamic Society, who have actually signed an agreement with us to jointly raise funds that to help people who have been internally displaced within Nigeria.
“And as part of this agreement we are actually establishing a common practice on how to deal with those who decides to donate to this joint initiative.”