Orlando Bloom recently went to Niger, Africa as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador to meet children forced to flee their homes because of Boko Haram. A few days later, he was walking the red carpet at an Oscars after-party. And a few days after that, he released a joint statement with Katy Perry announcing their split.
Only 2 out of 3 of those stories made international headlines... and no, it wasn’t the one about the humanitarian crisis in Niger.
But that’s the story Orlando wants us to talk about. So, let’s talk about it:
2.3 million people from Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon have fled their homes. Many have lost loved ones. Many are at risk of malnutrition. Many have missed out on years of education. And many need psychological care.
Orlando says: “It is extremely hard to comprehend this situation when you are not there. I saw the depth of the pain and suffering these kids are going through. This is not something any child should experience.”
UNICEF and its partners are working in the region to rebuild their lives. They are providing food, clean water, counselling, vaccines and giving children access to education.
A number of international donors recently gathered at a conference in Oslo, pledging $672 million to help the region over the next three years. However, the UN estimates it would need closer to $1 billion.
If you’d like to help out, you can make a donation to UNICEF here.