Actor Ben Stiller has been supporting UNHCR since early 2016. He has travelled with us to meet refugees in Germany, Jordan, Guatemala, and most recently to learn about UNHCR’s work in Lebanon, where he called for urgent attention and funds to support Syrian refugees ahead of the eighth anniversary of the start of the Syria conflict. Ben was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador in July 2018.
In Jordan Ben spent time with Syrian refugees living in camps and urban settings. He met families benefiting from UNHCR’s innovative cash assistance program and refugees going through the resettlement process. Ben was particularly moved by the resilience of the people he encountered, the incredible spirit and energy of the children, and the deep longing to return home of many of the refugees with whom he spoke. He wrote about his experiences for TIME, and also posted videos of the refugees he met – along with some memorable moments - on his social feeds following the trip.
Ben has played a key role in UNHCR projects, including our #WithRefugees campaign. To mark World Refugee Day 2018 he appeared in a special edition Buzzfeed Tasty film, joined by writer and former Iraqi refugee Ahmed Badr, to make chicken shawarma, a traditional dish from Ahmed’s homeland. Ben has also featured in an advocacy film alongside fellow high profile supporters, refugees and UNHCR field staff, encouraging the public to sign a petition expressing solidarity with millions of people across the world driven from their homes by conflict and persecution. Ben spoke in the UN General Assembly Hall at the handing in of the #WithRefugees campaign petition to the UN Secretary General ahead of the historic UN Summit on Refugees & Migrants in September 2016.
In January 2019 Ben supported the launch of 1 Billion Miles to Safety, a new campaign calling on people all over the world to cover the distance travelled by refugees each year.