Watch CBSN Live

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, wife donate $1M to Syrian refugees

British comedian and "Borat" star Sacha Baron Cohen and his wife actress Isla Fisher are donating $1 million to help Syrian refugees, charities announced on Sunday, Agence France Presse reports.

Cohen and Fisher have donated $500,000 to The Sunday Times Christmas appeal to help protect 250,000 children against a threatened measles outbreak in Syria, The Sunday Times reports.

They are also donating the same amount to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to help refugees in Syria and neighboring countries with health care, shelter and sanitation, the AFP reports.

Cohen and Fisher are not the only celebrities who have supported Syrian refugees in recent months. Angelina Jolie penned an op-ed in the the Times in September on the subject.

"At no time in recent history has there been a greater need for leadership to deal with the consequences and causes of the global refugee crisis," she wrote. "The Syria conflict has created a wave of human suffering that has rolled out across the region and now reached the shores of Europe. Syrians are fleeing barrel bombs, chemical weapons, rape and massacres. Their country has become a killing field."

And actor Edward Norton donated $400,000 for Syrian refugees this month. The "Birdman" actor was moved to tears after he saw a Humans of New York post about an unnamed man called the Scientist, who lost his wife and daughter in a bombing and is now fighting stomach cancer. The Scientist has since moved to Troy, Michigan.

The story was so moving that even President Obama commented on Facebook, calling the man and his family an inspiration.

Norton decided to take action and asked Humans of New York creator Brandon Stanton if he could set up a fundraiser for the Scientist.

"Yesterday I got an email from Edward Norton, asking if he could host a fundraiser for the scientist in Tuesday's story," wrote Stanton. "I said: 'Of course Edward Norton. Also, you were awesome in Birdman. Also, let's hang out.' I've rarely been shaken by a story more than the scientist's. His life had been so tragic, but throughout the entire interview, he kept returning to his desire to help mankind."

Norton wrote on Crowdrise, "This man has suffered profound loss that would crush the spirit of many people and yet he still passionately wants a chance to contribute positively to the world. If we don't welcome people like this into our communities and empower his dream of making an impact with his life, then we're not the country we tell ourselves we are. Let's reject the 'anti-human' voices that tell us to fear refugees and show this man and his family what Americans are really made of. Let's show that a country built by the energy and dreams of immigrants still believes in brave people who come here with hope for better life."

The fundraiser collected more than $400,000. The average donation was only $29, which indicates the sheer number of people who pitched in.

Norton wants people to know, though, that he didn't set up the fundraiser for political reasons, though he did say anti-immigrant sentiment by politicians was "cynical."

View CBS News In