Ben Affleck, star and director of this year’s Oscar-winner Argo, will live below the extreme poverty line for five days. No, it’s not an attempt to get rid of his paunch. He’s signed up to take the Live Below the Line challenge, an initiative started by the Global Poverty Project. Between April 29 to May 3, Ben will live on only $1.50 per day, the accepted international economic marker of the extreme poverty line. Currently, approximately 1.4 billion people survive on this amount or less per day. Over the entire five days, Ben will be allowed to eat and drink no more than $7.50 worth of products, even if they come from his backyard, although tap water is fair game. Ben isn’t the only celebrity joining the poverty awareness campaign – Sophia Bush and Josh Groban, among others, have also signed on. Last year, more than 15,000 people participated and raised $3 million. The Global Poverty Project is hoping to raise even more money this year.
The Hollywood actor, producer, and director is encouraging others to take the challenge as well. He will be raising funds for his charity, the Eastern Congo Initiative, which provides economic and social assistance for people in the Eastern Congo. The Global Poverty Project has partnered with many nonprofit groups in addition to Ben’s charity and will use the money to help fight global issues like poverty and human trafficking. ~Cassie Jasinski