Actor Sacha Baron Cohen and his wife Isla Fisher are donating $1 million in an effort to help Syrian refugees, as reported by the charities receiving the donations on Sunday.
The comedian actor along with his actress wife Fisher are donating $500,000 to Save the Children. The received funds will be used by the humanitarian agency to pay for measles vaccinations for Syrian children in Northern Syria. It is expected that this sum will pay for measles vaccinations to more than 250,000 Syrian kids.
The same amount will also be donated to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to help refugees in Syria and neighboring nations, in particular children and women, with sanitation, health care, education and shelter.
As the United Nations reports, more than four million refugees have already fled ongoing Syrian conflict to take shelter in neighboring countries. Millions more Syrians have been forced to leave for other parts of the war-stricken nation and become internal refugees.
According to the UNHCR, of the Syrian migrants and refugees, more than a million refugees have reached Europe this year, with 970,000 among them expected to have undertaken the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean.
Justin Forsyth, chief executive of Save the Children, said that the money would “save many thousands of lives and protect some of the most vulnerable children.”
“By allowing us to make their generous donation to Syrian children public, Sacha and Isla are helping highlight the tragedy of the issue today,” Forsyth told AFP.
“These are desperate times for Syrian families facing bombs, bullets and torture in Syria. The couple’s donation will save many thousands of lives and protect some of the most vulnerable children”, he added further.
David Miliband, the ex-British foreign secretary who is currently president and CEO of the IRC echoed the statements made by Forsyth, calling their charitable act for refugees a “great expression of humanity.”
Praising the couple for their generosity towards Syrian refugees during such difficult times, Miliband called the financial gift an “example to many others seeking practical ways of making a difference during the Christmas and New Year season.”
British comedian Baron Cohen, who first came into prominence as the creator of the TV series “Da Ali G Show”, is known for his starring roles in the films like “Borat”, “Juno” and “The Dictator”. His wife Fisher is an Australian actress who has appeared in Australian soap “Home and Away” and films like “Wedding Crashers” and “The Great Gatsby”.
Amidst the current humanitarian crisis in Syria, this is the latest addition to ongoing efforts by Hollywood celebrities to support the Syrian refugees. Hollywood celebrities are campaigning to raise funds, uniting to raise wakefulness on the subject and lashing out at cries to turn away Syrian refugees.
Earlier this month, Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon visited the Greek island of Lesbos, where she will be spending her Christmas holidays to assist the Syrian refugees who are arriving there on a daily basis. She will also write about her volunteering experiences for the Huffington Post and RYOT.org, which is a virtual reality news company.
“I hope that I can make it possible for them (the refugees) to have a voice so we can understand them,” she wrote in one of her posts.
She added further, “Understand that ‘these people’ are just like us, wanting to keep their children safe, wanting them to have a future.”
Actor Edward Norton also recently voiced his concerns out about ongoing the Syrian migrant crisis. He raised nearly $460,000 on behalf of a Syrian refugee, moved by the story about him published on social media.
“The Syrian man, a scientist who lost seven members of his family in a bombing two years ago including his wife and a daughter, was featured on the website ‘Humans of New York’ earlier this month”, write Dailysabah.com.
“I saw this story on one of my favorite sites, ‘Humans of New York,’ and it moved me to tears,” said Norton.
“Let’s reject the ‘anti-human’ voices that tell us to fear refugees and show this man and his family what Americans are really made of,” he went on to add further.
The support from these celebrities along with others are coming against the backdrop of provocative remarks against refugees being made from within the United States, where leading Republican presidential candidates and various politicians have made calls to stop arrivals of Muslims or Syrian refugees to the country.
[Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP]