Nigeria has been hit hard this year with terrorist group Boko Haram leading a bloody insurgency in the north-east of the country, kidnapping and killing hundreds of people in recent months. So far, more than two million people have been displaced as a result of the conflict.
Recognising the scale of the crisis, GE has donated US$1 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). This contribution will be used to support UNICEF’s efforts to get urgently needed healthcare to displaced children and their mothers currently living in temporary camps for internally displaced people (IDP camps).
Jay Ireland, President and CEO of GE Africa, called for concerted efforts to end the insurgency during the handover ceremony with Borno Governor Kashim Shettima. “No country can develop properly without adequate security of lives and property,” said Ireland. “This donation will support UNICEF’s work to save the lives of displaced children and families in the region.”
Shettima said, “Government alone cannot meet the growing humanitarian needs in the IDP camps,” urging other corporates to follow GE’s example.
The donation would support emergency and primary health care services for displaced people, said UNICEF representative in Nigeria Jean Gough. “It will also help us improve the health structures in both the IDP camps and host communities, where many of the displaced have sought shelter,” she said.
UNICEF offers safe birthing facilities, antenatal care, and immunisations for children five years and under.
GE’s commitment to peace and prosperity is driven by its sustainability programme, GE Kujenga, meaning “build” in Swahili. By actively contributing to national development priorities, and promoting in-country skills development and supply chains, GE hopes to promote long-term political stability and meaningful work.