affleck-refugee-help.jpgActor-director Ben Affleck and Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger released a short film to help raise $23 million for United Nations efforts to pay for clean water and emergency aid kits for 250,000 people driven from their homes by renewed fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The film – “Gimme Shelter” – set to the Rolling Stones’ song of the same name, was shot last month in North Kivu province, epicentre of the latest surge in fighting.

“The Rolling Stones are very happy to contribute to ‘Gimme Shelter’ in support of Ben’s efforts to raise the profile of the conflict in the Congo,” Mr. Jagger said of the film, which will be distributed worldwide via Internet, television, mobile phones, cinemas and hotel chains. “We all need to stand up and support the work of organizations like UNHCR who are on the ground offering protection and working hard to ensure the rights and wellbeing of refugees.”

“We made the 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,” Mr. Affleck said at the launching at UN Headquarters in New York. “The suffering and loss we’ve all seen first-hand is staggering – it is beyond belief.”

Gimme Shelter, which aims to raise funds for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 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 neighbouring Uganda and are also receiving help from UNHCR.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres thanked all those involved in the campaign for their compassion, concern and commitment. “Their contribution will have a direct impact on the lives of uprooted people not only in the DRC but around the world,” he said.

This video shows thousands of displaced people in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) receiving aid last month, after escaping renewed violence in the country’s east.

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