After meeting with Iraqi refugees in Syria on Friday, Angelina Jolie urged the world not to forget the plight of those among them who cannot return home because of the trauma they suffered and the country’s instability. Jolie accompanied by her partner, Brad Pitt, visited Syria as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations‘ refugee agency, UNHCR. Thousands of Iraqi refugees have returned home from Syria and other neighboring countries over the past year, but many more are unable or unwilling to return to a country still full of violence.
“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,” Jolie said. “They will, therefore, be in need of continued support from the international community.” More than 4.2 million Iraqis have left their homes since the beginning of the conflict in 2003. Currently, 215,000 Iraqi refugees are registered with UNHCR in Syria, the majority of whom are dependent on food and other material support. Angelina Jolie has worked with UNHCR since early 2001. In 2007, a foundation set up by Jolie and Pitt donated $1 million to help those affected by the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region and neighboring Chad. What do you think?