(Photo: Splash News Agency)
Ben Affleck has written an essay for Time about his recent trip to the war-ravaged Congo and how civilians are struggling to cope with the conflict there.
Here’s just a portion of what the actor turned activist writes:
“The picture of the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo has grown tragically familiar: a region with great natural wealth, driven by war, racked with hunger and traumatized by a long history of colonial abuse, postcolonial kleptocracy and plunder. In the past 10 years alone, millions have died here, and more die each day as a result of the conflict. Most die not from war wounds but from starvation or disease. A lack of infrastructure means there is little medical care in the cities and none in rural communities, so any infection can be a death sentence. The most vulnerable suffer the worst. One in five children in Congo will die before reaching the age of 5–and will do so out of sight of the world, in places that camera crews cannot reach, deep in a vast landscape and concealed under a canopy of bucolic jungle.”
Meanwhile, Affleck will be among the A-list stars at a big fundraiser for the Congo that will he held Wednesday at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. The gathering will raise money for International Medical Corps, which provides life-saving health care to children and women in the Congo as well as to other ravaged areas around the world.