The Chairman of Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, on Monday night said the foundation has so far spent about N4.5bn to address the problems of poverty and malnutrition in three states in the North-East.
Dangote said this in Abuja while speaking at the launch of a partnership with Lead singer of rock group U2, Paul Hewson, who is known by his stage name Bono.
He gave the three states where the N4.5bn was spent as Borno,Yobe and Adamawa, where activities of insurgents have left millions of people displaced.
He said due to the activities of terrorists in these states, a lot of children are now malnourished,adding that this development was what informed the partnership with Bono who is also the founder of the ONE campaign advocacy group.
He said there is an urgent need to address the malnutrition and employment crisis in the North East adding that the importance of health in helping the country’s progress cannot be over-emphasized.
He said this was why 70 per cent of the funding accruing to the foundation is being spent in Nigeria while 20 per cent is spent Africa. The balance of ten per cent according to him is spent in other non-African countries.
He said, “We are doing quite a lot, we are spending a lot of money in Yobe, Adamawa and Borno States and we have spent N4.5bn so far on these three states and we will continue to spend.
“The partnership will focus on the most marginalised citizens, particularly girls and women, who face the brunt of poverty and help empower those most at risk from extreme poverty, extreme climate and extreme ideology.
“I’m investing in ONE and partners across Nigeria to strengthen civil society and help the government respond to our ongoing health needs and the urgent malnutrition crisis in the North-East Nigeria.
“ONE’s extensive network of youth groups and its 2.3 million members will help bring international attention to these issues. All of us can and must do more.”
In his comments, Bono said with the huge malnutrition crisis in the North-East, about 50,000 children may be lost before the end of the year.
He said the new partnership would help amplify the calls of millions of Nigerians who have been campaigning for years on issues relating to health, anti-corruption and agriculture.
He said while the funding gap is estimated at about $300m, only $100m had so far been realised to address the malnutrition problems in the North-East.
The event was attended by popular Nigeria musician Waje among other top officials of Dangote Foundation and the ONE campaign advocacy group.