Baron Cohen and wife give $1.4m to Syrian refugees

LONDON • British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and his wife are donating US$1 million (S$1.4 million) to help Syrian refugees, the charities receiving the money announced on Sunday.

The star of Borat (2006) and actress Isla Fisher are giving US$500,000 to Save the Children to pay for measles vaccinations for children in northern Syria.

They are also donating the same amount to the International Rescue Committee to help refugees in Syria and neighbouring countries, particularly women and children, with health care, shelter and sanitation.

More than four million refugees have fled conflict in Syria for the relative safety of the neighbouring countries, according to the United Nations.

Millions more have been forced to leave their homes for other parts of the country.

Mr Justin Forsyth, chief executive of Save the Children, said 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," he added.

Mr David Miliband, the former British foreign secretary who is president of the International Rescue Committee, called their gift a "great expression of humanity".

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 29, 2015, with the headline 'Baron Cohen and wife give $1.4m to Syrian refugees'. Print Edition | Subscribe