Ben Stiller is using his celebrity to spread the word about something extremely important — and you may have never heard of it.
A severe drought and hunger crisis is affecting Somalia during an East African emergency one U.N. official has called "the worst humanitarian crisis" since World War II. Following Snapchat star Jérôme Jarre's impassioned plea to help people in the region, Stiller made his own video with a hashtag the pair hopes will go viral:
Somalia is one of four countries — all totaling around 20 million people — facing starvation, dehydration, and impending famine in East Africa.
The UN defines famine as when at least two people out of 10,000 in a region die per day and more than 30 percent of children under the age of five suffer from acute malnutrition. Thirty. Percent.
Horrifyingly, Somalia, Yemen, South Sudan, and northeast Nigeria are dangerously close to meeting these qualifications.
To send assistance to the area, Jarre created the hashtag #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia, aiming to get the attention of the only airline with a flight to Somalia, Turkish Airlines.
The hashtag aims to encourage Turkish Airlines to send a plane to Somalia, filled with food and water to help the struggling population. Once the plane arrives, NGOs on the ground will be in charge of distributing the life-saving goods.
Comedy's godfather Ben Stiller jumped on board with the hashtag, making his own video.
Jarre and Stiller hoped to make the hashtag so big that the airline had no choice but to respond — and it worked.
On Thursday, the airline tweeted:
— Turkish Airlines (@TurkishAirlines) March 16, 2017
Somalia's situation isn't hopeless. We can all help by continuing to spread awareness of East Africa's dire circumstances. Click here for more information on how to donate.