Aid from Affleck

Actor Founds Congo Aid Group

He’s been visiting and documenting the region since 2007, and now Ben Affleck has started up the Eastern Congo Initiative, a program aimed at protecting women and children who have suffered in the region’s years-long conflict, in which mass rape is frequently used as a weapon of war. The initiative will primarily support local Congolese groups. Affleck said, “It was folks in these communities that were addressing the humanitarian crisis who were doing the most, in my view, to solve it, because they understood the community, because they understood the problem.” Much of the backing will come from Howard G. Buffett, who Affleck enlisted as a founding member. Affleck previously directed Gimme Shelter, a film documenting the humanitarian crisis that gripped the region between 1998 and 2002. The U.S. ambassador to Congo praised the initiative as bringing “much-needed attention to a region that has suffered for too long.”