Some of the world's biggest brands have come together to front a new multimillion dollar advertising campaign to benefit refugees of conflicts in the Middle East.

Led by McDonald's, the new fundraising effort for the U.N. World Food Programme features the backing of DreamWorks Animation, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Cargill, McCain Foods, MasterCard, Burger King and United Airlines. The first ad, a 30-second spot called "Symbols" and voiced by actor Liam Neeson, will be aired in more than 38 countries.

“We felt it was an opportunity for us to contribute something meaningful, something authentic,” McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook told the NY Times. “This is not about single brands. This is about doing good.”

As Neeson explains in the ad, there are more refugees fleeing conflict and persecution than any time since World War II. Humanitarian aide, in particular food distribution systems, are being stretched to their limits. “People not so different from you and me, except more than half of them are children,” Neeson says. “They are innocent, and they are hungry.”

Thanks to these sponsors distributing the campaign to an estimated 300 million people, officials for the World Food Programme are hopeful that the resulting donations can grow to support this increasing crisis.

"The private sector has a significant role to play in ending hunger and promoting peace," said Jay Aldous, WFP Director of Private Sector Partnerships. "And this global effort is a powerful example of brands coming together with one voice to make a tangible impact in the lives of vulnerable people."

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

McDonald's leads effort to feed refugees
Fast-food giant teams up with Burger King, Facebook, United Airlines and many more for donations campaign.