Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen’s $1 million Christmas gift to Syrian refugees

Showbiz power couple Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen are set to donate $1 million to charities supporting Syrian refugees, according to The Sunday Times.

According to the publication, the couple are donating $500,000 to their Save the Children Christmas appeal which will help protect approximately 250,000 children against a threatened measles outbreak in northern Syria.

Another $500,000 will be donated to American organisation International Rescue Committee (IRC) which “responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives.”

In a press release, IRC president and former UK foreign secretary David Miliband called the gift “a great expression of humanity, and a challenge to do more for the most vulnerable”.

Save the Children CEO Justin Forsyth said the donation 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. These are desperate times for Syrian families facing bombs, bullets and torture in Syria,” he added.

The power and influence of celebrity can be measured in times of need. Lending their voices or donating generous amounts to worthy causes proves invaluable during humanitarian crises.

Earlier this month, actor Edward Norton committed $550,000 for Syrian refugees after being inspired by a man known as ‘The Scientist’ who was featured on photoblog Humans of New York.

Following his donation, Norton started a fundraiser to help support the man and his daughter, writing on his Facebook page: “This man has suffered profound loss that would crush the spirit of many people and yet he still passionately wants a chance to contribute positively to the world.”

The fundraiser has since raised $500,000 and is still running on CrowdRise.

After the British House of Commons voted overwhelmingly in favour of airstrikes in Syria earlier this month, celebrities such as comedian Stephen Fry and journalist Piers Morgan took to Twitter to post messages against military action.

The US-led airstrike campaign against Daesh, according to the UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, could last “at least” three years.

In September, in an op-ed for The Times, Angelina Jolie wrote: “At no time in recent history has there been a greater need for leadership to deal with the consequences and causes of the global refugee crisis.”

“Nothing brings home this truth more than the sight of columns of refugees marching across European borders, from countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

“The Syria conflict has created a wave of human suffering that has rolled out across the region and now reached the shores of Europe. Syrians are fleeing barrel bombs, chemical weapons, rape and massacres. Their country has become a killing field.”

According to the United Nations, more than four million refugees have fled their homes since the beginning of the Syrian conflict. These estimates include 2.1 million Syrians registered in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, 1.9 million Syrians registered in Turkey, and 26,700 Syrians registered in North Africa.

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