In 2005, Angelina Jolie made every man in Pakistan curse their luck when she was photographed on the front page of every newspaper in the country, next to then Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.
This week, she was exchanging words with Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa.
As a part of events organised for World Refugee Day, which is observed on June 20 every year, Angelina Jolie visited refugees who had escaped violence in Colombia.
During her second visit to Ecuador, she talked to President Rafael Correa who assured her of his support for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) coping with the influx of refugees. Providing refuge to 135,000 refugees in 2008, Ecuador accommodated half of 53,000 Colombians crossing the border in May this year.
Remembering her last visit to Ecuador, Jolie said, “I wanted to come back and meet with vulnerable people and focus on violence against women and their unaccompanied minors.” The actor also visited families in Lago Agrio and Barranca Bermeja, “I am so happy to be able to reconnect with some familiar faces, refugees I had met with during my 2002 trip.”
Angelina Jolie has become the ‘celebrity’ face of charity worldwide, taking on from where the late Princess Diana left off, who Jolie was inspired by.
Since 2000, Jolie has actively participated in humanitarian activities across the world.
As a goodwill ambassador for the UNHCR and United Nations Children’s Fund, Jolie has visited several disaster sites and raised funds to help displaced immigrants in more than 20 countries.
Jolie’s humanitarian journey began in 2000 during her visit to Cambodia for the filming of Tomb Raider. In 2001, that she was named a goodwill ambassador for the UN (United Nations).
During the last 10 years, she has worked with the UN in many countries coping with the problems of refugees either from a natural disaster or war. Her humanitarian work has extended to a personal level as well, as Jolie has adopted children from Cambodia, Vietnam and Ethiopia.
Jolie speaks about her work in Pakistan (2005)
“Everybody feels that forced repatriation is not the aim and not something that should be done. Another thing is that the burden on Pakistan and the Pakistani people, which has lasted 25 years, is very large and they have not been given the support that they should have been given.”
“The courage, resilience and quiet dignity of returnee families rebuilding their lives against the kind of adversity few of us can imagine show the human spirit at its best.”
“Most Iraqi refugees cannot return to Iraq in view of the severe trauma they experienced there, the uncertainty linked to the coming Iraqi elections, the security issues and the lack of basic services. They will, therefore, be in need of continued support from the international community.”
Tanzania, Cambodia, Pakistan
Kosovo, Kenya, Namibia
Tanzania, Sri Lanka,
Russia, Jordan, Egypt
Darfur, Thailand, Labenon
Haiti, India, San José (Costa Rica)
Chad, Syria, Iraq
Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2010.
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