Jewish actor and dad Sacha Baron Cohen and his wife, actress Isla Fisher, recently donated an estimated $1 million to help Syrian children, according to JTA. The couple is giving about half the sum to the Save the Children charity to pay for measles vaccinations for children in northern Syria. The rest will go to the International Rescue Committee as a way to aid Syrian refugees in neighboring countries.
Justin Forsyth, Save the Children CEO, stated in a press release that the donation is not only generous, but timely:
“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…By allowing us to make their generous donation to Syrian children public, Sacha and Isla are helping highlight the tragedy of the issue today. The couple’s donation will save many thousands of lives and protect some of the most vulnerable children.”
Meanwhile, the president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, David Miliband, echoed similar sentiments, stating:
“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.”
As of now, the United Nations reports more than four million refugees have fled Syria for Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and North Africa, and estimates that around 12,000 children have been killed in the conflict.
Cohen is famous for his film “Borat,” while Fisher, known for starring in “Wedding Crashers” and “I Heart Huckabees,” converted to Judaism at the time of their marriage.