Copyright 2005

[ May 8th 2005 ]

Academy Award winner and UN ambassador Angelina Jolie has issued a plea to the international community on behalf of millions of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan. The Tomb Raider star is touring the region to witness first-hand the squalid conditions post-war refugees are living in. "I ask the international community to do more to fund and to help shoulder the burden of this part of the world."

"I met a woman who was about to get on a truck with a small baby," Jolie said. "I do not know how she is going to survive, and how she will be able to make a living, to find food, to find health care. So it is very, very difficult but many people are moving back."

"Pakistan has been hosting Afghan refugees for many many years and UNHCR has greatly appreciated it," said Jolie after meeting on Wednesday with Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. "There is still much that needs to be done, these families from Afghanistan still need people looking after them because they have many needs."

This is Jolie's second visit to Pakistan. The American actress observed UNHCR activities with Afghans during an extensive tour of the country in early 2001 before officially becoming a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN refugee agency. Since then she has undertaken missions to meet refugees and UNHCR staff in more than 15 countries around the world - including each of the last three Christmas seasons.

Last October she spent three days in Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region, months after she visited refugees from the conflict who had fled over the border to Chad.

Tour update courtesty of UNHCR.

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