Sacha Baron Cohen and his wife Isla Fisher have made a huge show of support for Syrian refugees by donating $1 million to be split evenly between two charitable organizations, Save the Children and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
Charity officials confirmed to ET that half the money will be used to help vaccinate more than 250,000 children, while the other half will go towards education, health care, shelter and sanitation to support families inside Syria and in neighboring countries who have been victimized by the ongoing conflict there.
"The Syrian conflict is now approaching its fifth year and children are the first victims," Save the Children CEO Justin Forsyth told ET. "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."
IRC president and CEO David Miliband also praised the couple for their generosity.
"Now is the time for all of us to double down on commitments to civilians caught up in the Syria conflict," he said. "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."