By Monsuru Olowoopejo
Muslim Public Affairs Centre, MPAC and Nasrul-lahil-Fathi Society of Nigeria Agency for Zakat and Sadaqat (NAZAS) have concluded plans to distribute relief materials to the over 2.2 million Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in North East of the country. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR had last November said the population of IDP in the North Eastern part of the country had risen to 2.2million.
They disclosed this after signing a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU in Lagos on the involvement of both organizations on how to assist victims of Boko Haram insurgency in the country. They lamented: “IDPs are facing hunger, affliction of various illnesses due to inadequate medical care and exposure to inclement weather arising from the makeshift accommodation they have in their camps and as such require assistance to feed and take care of themselves at the Camps established by the Federal Government.”
The organizations assured to make made available items include clothing items, footwear, sanitary and toiletry items, household items, toys, books, medics and others, for distribution to the IDPs. The Executive Vice Chairman of MPAC, Mr. Disu Kamor state that the MoU covers a period of one year and could be reviewed, saying “there was no certain amount of money dedicated to the scheme by both groups within the time frame of the agreement.”
His words “The interesting thing is that the programme was designed to touch lives of IDPs and others (Muslims and non-Muslims) in the country.” Director, NAZAS, Mustapha Bello added that the decision of collaborating with MPAC was based on the organization’s developed competent over time and that the organization have completed necessary agreement to enable them jointly execute the live-touching programme as Islamic organizations.
Bello explained that the NAZAS quota of the agreement was to provide relief materials through collection and collation from members of the public, as well as sort them, before handing it over to MPAC whose job remains getting the items over to the people in need of them across various IDPs’ camps. On contribution of NAZAS to the country’s development Bello disclosed that the Zakat and Sadaqa arm of NASFAT has provided aids of worth about N40 million to widows and other needy members of the public of both Muslims and non-Muslims.
Also speaking, a representative of NAZAS, Suweba Bola Kupolati, said plans were underway to help people in need of emergency health assistance such as in heart, kidney, and other human bodily organs replaceable.