Angelina Jolie has urged the international community to do more for the people who have had to flee war-torn Syria.
The Hollywood actress and special envoy for the United Nation’s refugee agency has pleaded with politicians to address the root causes of the global crisis.
“We cannot manage the world through aid relief in the place of diplomacy and political solutions,” she said at a press conference on Tuesday (15Mar16) in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.
Thousands of displaced people have sought refuge in Bekaa, with the nation hosting well over a million Syrian refugees in total.
The 40-year-old Changeling star said she had hoped to be in Syria helping victims return to their homes on the fifth anniversary of the uprising against President Bashar Assad.
But instead, she said it’s “tragic and shameful that we seem to be so far from that point.”
The war in Syria is between Assad’s government, rebels and foreign jihadis and has drawn in world powers and generated what the U.N. describes as a humanitarian catastrophe.
Half of Syria’s pre-war population of some 23 million has been displaced, with around five million having fled their homeland, mostly ending up in neighbouring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.
“We should never forget that for all the focus on the refugee situation in Europe at this time, the greatest pressure is still being felt in the Middle East and North Africa, as it has for each of the last five years,” commented Angelina.
After an influx of refugees into Europe last year (15), some countries began erecting barriers to migration, which has lead to some refugees being stuck in squalid conditions in the Balkans.
Accordingly Angelina, a mother-of-six, has called on world leaders to adhere to their international obligations to aid refugees.
“The reason we have laws and binding international agreements is precisely because of the temptation to deviate from them in times of pressure,” she added.
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