Actor and director Ben Stiller traveled to Capitol Hill Wednesday to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding the humanitarian impact of the war in Syria and what the U.S. can do to help.
Stiller, who is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, recalled to the committee the times he visited refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan.
“In 2016, deciding that I didn’t want to just keep watching the news of the conflict, but that I wanted to do something, I called NHCR,” Stiller explained in his testimony. “Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to meet Syrian refugees in Jordan, in Berlin, and recently in Lebanon.”
Stiller recalled meeting a young Syrian family in Lebanon.
“They lived in Lebanon as refugees for eight years now and have desperately struggled constantly moving and constantly looking for work,” the “Meet the Parents” star said.
“We need to help them ensure that their health services, education systems and livelihood opportunities are available to refugees and also that the needs of their own citizens are addressed so that both groups are able to thrive."
He claimed the father of the family tried to sell his kidney on Facebook for money.
Stiller, 53, suggested the U.S. provide “host countries with long-term structural support.”
“We need to help them ensure that their health services, education systems and livelihood opportunities are available to refugees and also that the needs of their own citizens are addressed so that both groups are able to thrive,” he said.
The “Zoolander” star concluded his statement, saying the U.S. was “the most generous donor to many refugee crises” and called on lawmakers to “not look away.”
The war in Syria has since the devastated the country and billions of dollars are believed needed to rebuild. Millions of Syrians have fled or been displaced inside the country.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.