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Ben Affleck launches 'Gimme Shelter'
|Ben Affleck in Africa during the shooting of the 'Gimme Shelter' video. Zalmai|
With intense fighting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and 250,000 Congolese people forced from their homes because of the violence, actor-director Ben Affleck and musician Mick Jagger have released a short film to help raise $23 million for the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in 2009. The campaign will help pay for clean water and emergency humanitarian assistance kits in the region.
"We made this film in order to focus attention on the humanitarian crisis in
the DRC at a time when too much of the world is indifferent or looking the other way," said Affleck, who launched the film at a special briefing with UNHCR at the United Nations in New York on Dec. 17. "The suffering and loss we've all seen first-hand is staggering - it is beyond belief."
Affleck traveled this fall to the strife-torn North Kivu region of the DRC, where thousands have fled their homes since August. The film is set to the Rolling Stones' song 'Gimme Shelter', which Jagger and the group donated to the campaign.
'Gimme Shelter' captures the unseen suffering of Congolese families who fled the fighting with next to nothing and are now forced to find refuge in makeshift huts with little to live on. Some 30,000 others have fled to neighboring Uganda and are receiving help from UNHCR.
There are currently 1.3 million displaced people in the DRC, many of them earlier victims caught up in an ongoing cycle of violence. The effects of the conflict have claimed as many as 5.4 million lives in the last 10 years, with an estimated 1,000 people still dying every day. In some areas, two out of three women have been raped. Abductions persist in all brutal forms and children are forcefully recruited to fight. Outbreaks of cholera and other diseases
have increased as the humanitarian situation deteriorates.
Please join us in supporting the 'Gimme Shelter' campaign and view the 4-minute film here.
Visit UNHCR's resource page for the latest news, photos, videos and maps of the DRC.
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