On Wednesday 11th November, top names from the comedy world are coming together to help raise funds for charities – ActionAid and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Stand Up in Action – the one off comedy benefit night at London’s Eventim Apollo, will see a host of stars perform in aid of the current overwhelming global refugee crisis – the largest since the Second World War. The evening, hosted by GREG DAVIES (The Inbetweeners, Man Down, Channel 4), will include performances from fellow comics JO BRAND (Getting On, BBC One, Bake Off, An Extra Slice, BBC Two), ROISIN CONATY (Man Down, Channel 4, Impractical Jokers, BBC Three), RUSSELL HOWARD (Russell Howard’s Good News, BBC Two), REGINALD D HUNTER (multiple Perrier nominee, Reginald D Hunter’s Songs of the South, BBC Two), DARA O’BRIAIN (Mock The Week, BBC Two) and JACK WHITEHALL (Fresh Meat, Channel 4, Bad Education, BBC Three) to name a few.
All proceeds from the gig will be equally split between ActionAid and UNHCR to provide much needed support and assistance to refugees.
ActionAid works with some of the world’s poorest women and children. They have been working with Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon since 2013, supporting over 90,000 people in the region and providing them with essential items such as clothing, hygiene items, torches, first aid kits as well as longer term support working with refugees in local communities. With the increase of migration to Europe, the island of Lesbos is often the first stop in Europe for many. Providing a humanitarian response, they are giving out information and maps, in Arabic, Farsi and Pashto, along the beaches where boats arrive. They have also set up two women and child friendly centres in the Kara Tepe and Moriya, targeting the most vulnerable, e.g. pregnant women, children, and people with disabilities.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) provides support and protection to nearly 60 million people worldwide forced from their homes. In the first month of the refugee crisis in Europe, UNHCR distributed more than 32,000 sleeping mats, 7,000 sleeping bags, 26,500 blankets, and nearly 60,000 bottles of water. Over 70 emergency staff were deployed, who are providing valuable protection and assistance to refugees travelling through Europe seeking safety. In addition, UNHCR provided emergency accommodation for 2,000 of the most vulnerable refugees including children and pregnant women, along with access to medical care. UNHCR is leading the international response to the massive Syrian refugee crisis in neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. The organisation is also on the ground in all the countries that refugees are currently travelling through in search of safety and shelter in Europe.
Host GREG DAVIES said, “I’m really excited to be able to introduce such an incredible live bill of comedy in aid of such an important cause. I think it’s already a stellar line up and there will be other exciting additions in the near future. I might raffle a giant teddy* or something too. *Haven’t got one yet.”
MIKE NOYES, Head of Humanitarian Response, ActionAid UK said, “We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who is supporting ActionAid and the Refugee Crisis through this absolutely incredible event. Right now millions of people are fleeing the war in Syria and other conflict areas in fear for their lives. It is only with this fantastic support that we are able to continue to reach thousands of refugees, many of whom are women and children and provide them with essential items and safe spaces so that they can continue on their journey towards finding a safer and securer future.”
MR GONZALO VARGAS LLOSA, UNHCR Representative to the UK said, “Over the past months, we have seen an extraordinary outpour of public support in the UK for the plight of Syrian refugee families, including wonderful initiatives such as the “Stand Up in Action” benefit event. We are touched and humbled by such efforts. UNHCR is deeply grateful to the organisers, the contributing performers and the audience. With your support, we will be able to continue our life-saving work to protect and meet the urgent humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable refugee families.”
Tickets go on pre-sale from Wednesday via SEE, Thursday via Ticketmaster and on general sale via the Eventim Apollo on Friday.
Notes to Editors:
ActionAid is an International Development Charity working to change the lives of the poorest, most disadvantaged women and children in the world. Working in over 45 countries, ActionAid help over 15 million people every year. One of ActionAid’s key areas of work focuses on helping communities who have been affected by emergencies. In 2014 they responded to 29 emergencies, in 19 countries, helping to save the lives of over a million people. For more info, visit http://www.actionaid.org.uk
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is the only global organization that offers all-round direct support to refugees and displaced people, of whom 80% are women and children. They are ready to cater for the needs of at least 600,000 displaced people within 72 hours, and remain with them for as long as they need their protection and support. UNHCR depends almost entirely on voluntary contributions (97%), raised on an annual basis from government, corporate, foundations and individual donors. For more info, visit: http://www.unhcr.org.uk
- The crisis in the Mediterranean is becoming increasingly precarious, with more boat crossings during the first half of 2015 than all of 2014.
- European countries have seen over 590,000 arrivals by sea so far, with the tragic loss of some 3,100 lives.
- In Greece, 90% of arrivals are refugees. Almost 450,000 of these people have landed in Greece and over 137,000 in Italy. In Greece, 65% of those families who have arrived are from Syria and 85% are from conflict countries.
- Almost half of the people fleeing by sea are from Syria, and over 60% are women and children.
- Some 590,000 people have arrived in Europe to date, nearly 450,000 of them arriving in Greece. In September alone, 168,000 people arrived in Europe, five times the number of arrivals from the year before. And although dropping temperatures and some recent inclement weather has resulted in a decrease of the number of arrivals this week, it is expected that similarly high numbers will continue to arrive for the coming weeks.
- An average of 5,000 to 8,000 people are arriving across Europe on a daily basis. For more info, visit the UNHCR data portal: http://data.unhcr.org/mediterranean/regional.php