Ben Stiller named goodwill ambassador to UN refugee agency
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Actor Ben Stiller has been named global goodwill ambassador to the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR.

The agency announced the appointment on Monday after Stiller concluded a trip with UNHCR to Guatemala, where he met refugees who fled from their homes in Central America to escape violence from organized criminal groups and gangs.

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Stiller accompanied the agency on the recent visit to see how it works to support and protect refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras who fled groups engaged in rape, murder, abduction and “the forcible recruitment of children into gangs,” according to UNHCR. 

“Here in Guatemala, the families, including children, that I met experienced fear and violence back home that is beyond imagination,” Stiller said in a statement. “They are vulnerable and have suffered immensely. They need help. UNHCR is on the ground here with its partners providing them with support, protection and shelter.”

He added that there are more than 68 million displaced people in the world.

“I for one will do what I can as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, to advocate for refugees and encourage others to join me,” he said.

The United Nations high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, praised Stiller’s appointment. 

“I have witnessed personally his commitment to the world’s refugees and his extraordinary capacity to talk about the complicated issue of displacement in a manner that is clear, passionate and convincing,” Grandi said in a statement. “And this is precisely the role of Goodwill Ambassadors: to raise awareness, generate support and give a voice to those who have been forced to leave their homes."