Nigerian A-lister donates funds to support the forcibly displaced in Africa

Innocent Ujah Idibia, Nigerian Afro pop artist known as Tuface and the Founder of the 2Face Foundation (left) hands over his donation to Josephine Smith, UNHCR's Head of Office in Lagos and Hanson Tamfu, UNHCR External Relations Officer. The funds will go to support UNHCR's efforts to help displaced families in Africa.
© UNHCR/Olanrewaju Odunlami

Lagos, Nigeria – Nigerian music star Innocent Ujah Idibia is contributing 3.5 million Naira to the activities of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Singer, Idibia, popularly known as 2Face, the founder of the 2Face Foundation, and decorated Afro Pop star made the donation to UNHCR on Monday, 27 February 2017, in Lagos.

The donation kick-starts the UN Refugee Agency’s first-ever fundraising campaign in Nigeria. It will help provide life-saving support to families who have been forcibly displaced in Nigeria and across the continent.

“I am proud to support the UN Refugee Agency because of its proven track record of being at the forefront of displacement emergencies," said Idibia. "I want to help people who have been forced to flee their homes because it is an issue I care about. UNHCR knows how to make a difference in the lives of millions of women, children and men who have lost everything but hope and I want to be able to help them. To further support UNHCR, I am also working on a major charity concert sometime in June.”

UNHCR is almost entirely supported by donations from governments who contribute 89 per cent of its annual funding needs. With the number of the world’s displaced at more than 63.9 million – an unprecedented level of over 19.4 million of those living in Sub-Saharan Africa, the needs are enormous. UNHCR and its partners require US$2.45 billion to provide critical life-saving assistance to the displaced families in Africa.

“2Face has been performing in Nigeria for nearly two decades and his appeal cuts across generations. Having someone of his caliber recognize the needs of people who have been forced to flee their homes is extremely encouraging. This is a clear step in the direction of an Africa that takes ownership of its own challenges and strives to address them,” said Valentin Tapsoba, UNHCR’s Director of the Africa Bureau.

In Nigeria, the UN Refugee Agency responds to the needs of the more than 1.8 million displaced.Since the needs are overwhelming, the Agency has turned its efforts to Africa’s philanthropic world to meet some of the funding gaps, which are worrisomely huge. UNHCR has to-date only received one percent of the US$168 million required to support Nigeria’s displaced in the region.

The 2Face Foundation was created to provide service to humanity. Its founder, Innocent UjahIdibia, better known by his stage name 2face Idibia, or 2Baba, is a Nigerian singer-songwriter, record producer and entrepreneur. He is one of the most decorated, successful Afro pop artists in Africa. 2Face has received many awards within and outside Nigeria, including MTV Europe Music Award, World Music Award, Headies Awards, Channel Music Video Awards, BET award, MTV Africa Music Awards, MOBO award, KORA award and numerous additional nominations.

“Partnering with the 2Face Foundation and other philanthropists is critical to amplify UNHCR's voice in Nigeria in particular, and across the region in general. Africa has vast potential to finance the needs of its displaced persons through its rich culture of giving,” added Tapsoba.