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Ben Affleck Writes Congo Essay For Time

Feb. 17 2009, Published 6:04 a.m. ET

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(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."

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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.



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