NEW YORK — A new environmental foundation backed by Leonardo DiCaprio is pledging $5 million in aid to the Amazon, which has been swept by wildfires .

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Earth Alliance was created last month by DiCaprio and philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth. On Sunday, it launched the Amazon Forest Fund in an announcement on their website. The alliance is also seeking donations to help repair the Brazilian rainforest, called the "lungs of the planet."

Brazilian federal experts reported a record number of wildfires across the country this year, up 84% over the same period in 2018.

The funds will be distributed to five local groups working to combat the problem: Instituto Associacao Floresta Protegida, Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon, Instituto Kabu, Instituto Raoni, and Instituto Socioambiental.

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Britain UK Premiere of Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio poses for photographers upon arrival at the UK premiere of Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, in London, Tuesday, July 30, 2019. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP