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.

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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