Angelina Jolie visits a refugee camp

Posted: 05/04/2011 in Humanitarian work
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The goodwill ambassador for UNHCR, the American actress Angelina Jolie has visited a refugee camp on the border between Libya and Tunisia,  to see the situation of those displaced by the military conflict in Libya.

More than 400,000 people have fled in the direction of Libya, Tunisia and Egypt since violent riots broke out in the country in mid-February. The actress, girlfriend of Brad Pitt, is one of the most committed of Hollywood as evidenced by its accreditation goodwill ambassador for UNHCR.

Jolie also praised the “outpouring of generosity” shown by the Tunisians, fresh from its own revolution, to accommodate about half of the more than 400,000 people have fled to neighboring Libya.

“But there are still about 2,000 people each day cross the border from Libya to Tunisia, so we must not exhaust the financial means to evacuate and repatriate refugees,” said the ambassador of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in the town of Ras Adjir.

Therefore, during her visit, the actress gave an important contribution of the Jolie-Pitt Foundation to continue with humanitarian evacuations. The Foundation has taken over the cost of a return flight to their country of origin for 177 persons and the purchase of an ambulance to support the care offered to the injured who come to Tunisia from Libya.

Most people who come running from Libya are migrant workers, but also some from countries in conflict, unable to return, and therefore require international protection.

“They wait here with little hope, unable to return to their country of origin and not knowing what will become of them. This constant cycle of displacement must stop,” said Jolie.

After hearing the stories of some of the fugitives from Libya, actress appealed for the UN and NGOs have access to that country and to provide urgent humanitarian assistance, particularly food and medicines.

It also heard testimony from some sub-Saharan nationals in Libya were deliberately targeted to be confused with mercenaries in the service of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and called for opening a humanitarian corridor to allow those people access to places where they can hide. He recalled that no humanitarian corridor that thousands of sub-Saharan Africans are no other recourse but to jump into the sea aboard unstable vessels to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa, and in some cases die during the dangerous crossing.

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