In response to an uptick in violence and military action in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ben Affleck appeared with Rep. Adam Smith (D) on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" to talk about the deteriorating situation - and the resources available to the U.S. to help end the bloodshed.
“One of the things we’re hearing from our people [in the Congo] is that the schools that we fund, people are hiding out in,” Affleck said. “The hospitals are completely overwhelmed. They’re offering free care for war victims. A shell just hit a camp and paralyzed a 5-year-old boy from the neck down. So you’re hearing all kinds of … brutal, terrible stuff.”
In 2009, Affleck launched the Eastern Congo Initiative aimed at raising awareness of the hurdles faced by the Congolese - and the local actions that can be implemented to create social change. This November, he made his ninth trip to the country to continue his efforts for change.
With the election season over, Affleck says President Obama should commit efforts to help curb the violence that has killed an estimated three million people.
“He’s not unaware of this, and I appreciate all the other things that he’s doing, but this has to be a priority,” he said of Obama.
“I think this is critical,” he added. “I think our actions in foreign policy– and maybe I am naïve– you know, represent our values and represent who we are. And if any American were to go to that country and stand and see what was happening there, they would insist that we do what we could.”
Check out video of his appearance with George Stephanopoulos below.
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