The TY Danjuma Foundation, a private, independent philanthropic grant-making organisation established in 2009 by Lt. Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (RTD), GCON – to improve the quality of life of Nigerians through health and education interventions, Wednesday April 22, 2020, donated relief items worth millions of naira to over 5,000 persons fleeing the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-Eastern part of the country at the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs resettlement camp, Wassa in the outskirts of Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Wassa resettlement is the largest IDPs camp in the Federal Capital Territory. There are over 5000 IDPs currently living in the camp; 70% of whom are women and children who depend largely on donations, subsistence farming and daily jobs for survival. The livelihoods of these vulnerable lot has been hanging on a thin thread since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus diseases in the past few weeks.
Humanitarian agencies have noted that without sufficient and timely food donations to mitigate the emerging consequences of the coronavirus disease and the subsequent restrictions by government, the vulnerabilities of IDPs in places such as Wassa resettlement will be exacerbated and many of them pushed further into extreme hunger and malnutrition. The United Nations has further harped on the need to provide succour for the less privileged as the world battles the scourge of COVID-19.
The donation of both food and non-food items to IDPs at Wassa which was organised by Social Welfare Network Initiative (SWNI) – an non profit organisation that has worked extensively in the North-East, especially in Borno is clearly a timely response to the clarion call to government, institutions and well-meaning Nigerians to provide succour and alleviate the plights of the internally displaced around the country.
An elated Geoffrey Bitrus, Chairman of the IDPs in Wassa bares his mind this way; “This is the first set of relief materials we are receiving in this camp since the outbreak of COVID-19. I really want to thank Gen. T Y Danjuma for sparing a thought for us at a moment when we felt everybody had forgotten that there are thousands of displaced persons from Borno state residing here in the FCT”.
“The TY Danjuma Foundation has given us a lot of foods- thousands of bags of rice, corn, beans, salt and vegetable oil. They even added washing soaps, buckets, and sanitary towels for the women in the camp. We are grateful and pray that God would grant him long life to continue doing good for Nigeria and Nigerians”.
“I call on government and well-meaning Nigerians to emulate the kind gesture of General Danjuma by coming to our aid. For a truth, no one can predict the end of this global pandemic.”
Fielding questions from journalists shortly after the items were distributed, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the TY Danjuma Foundation, Gima H. Forje said “The Chairman and founder of the Foundation is particularly concerned about the wellbeing of the most vulnerable especially in the face of the novel coronavirus which is impacting on their lives and livelihoods disproportionately”.
“The IDPs to whom the Foundation is offering support today were dislodged from the North-East and are barely eking out a living here in Wassa. As restrictive but necessary measures to combat the novel coronavirus are being enforced, a lot of the IDPs have been cut off from their means of livelihood; necessitating a quick humanitarian responses from institutions like ours to cushion the adverse effects”.
“That is precisely why the Chairman of the Foundation, Lt. Gen. TY Danjuma (RTD) approved an immediate humanitarian relief package for the IDPs at Wassa.”
Following the distribution of the relief items in line with guidelines issued by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus disease, the leaders of women and youths in the camp both expressed their gratitude to the Chairman of the TY Danjuma Foundation and prayed God to grant him his heart desires.
The TY Danjuma Foundation marked a decade of successful grant making in 2019 and has supported over 280 projects across 30 states on Neglected Tropical Diseases, education as well as income generation initiatives.
Over the past five year, the Foundation has channelled considerable resources into alleviating the sufferings of persons displaced by the conflict in the North-East and other parts of the country.