Actor Sacha Baron Cohen and his wife Isla Fisher have donated $1 million to aid Save the Children and the International Rescue Committee, supporting victims of ongoing war in Syria, Save the Children said in a statement. The money will be used to vaccinate children against a potential measles outbreak in Northern Syria and for education, health care, shelter and sanitation, the group said.
Cohen, known for his wacky roles in “Borat,” “Brüno” and “The Dictator,” appeared in a more conventional role as a BBC news anchor in Atlanta-filmed “Anchorman 2.”
In a statement, Save the Children CEO Justin Forsyth said:
“The Syrian conflict is now approaching its fifth year and children are the first victims. There is no safe place left in Syria, with shelling and violence omnipresent. Food and medicines have become scarce and basic necessities unaffordable. Syria’s health system has collapsed and deadly childhood diseases – like measles – which had previously been all but eradicated have now returned, threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of 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. 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.”
David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee said in a statement:
“Now is the time for all of us to double down on commitments to civilians caught up in the Syria conflict. These people are the victims of terror. As hope for the end of conflict recedes, it is all the more important to meet the most basic human needs. Sacha and Isla’s donation is a great expression of humanity, and a challenge to do more for the most vulnerable. I hope it is an example to many others seeking practical ways of making a difference during the Christmas and New Year season.”