Angelina Jolie Responds to UNHCR Emergency Appeal

Sep 27, 2001, 01:00 ET from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

    GENEVA, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie
 today became the first individual donor to respond to the refugee agency's
 emergency appeal for more than $250 million to meet the enormous humanitarian
 needs in and around Afghanistan.
     The American actress told UNHCR that she will contribute $1 million to
 help Afghan refugees in neighbouring asylum states such as Pakistan and Iran,
 which already host more than 3.5 million refugees between them.  During the
 past year, Ms. Jolie has also contributed to UNHCR programs for refugees in
 Africa and Asia.
     Ms. Jolie visited Pakistan in August to meet refugees and get a first-hand
 look at UNHCR's work and programs on behalf of the 2 million Afghans already
 seeking refuge there.  Having seen the dire plight of these refugees, she
 feels a particular concern for their situation in the looming humanitarian
 emergency now confronting the region.
     High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers thanked Ms. Jolie for her
 support:  "This significant contribution from a concerned young American
 reinforces my belief that, despite the trauma of recent events in her country,
 a strong sense of humanitarian responsibility toward innocent civilians
 suffering in far-off places continues to animate the spirit of caring
 individuals everywhere," Mr. Lubbers said.
     "The generosity of our Goodwill Ambassador, Angelina Jolie, has encouraged
 all of us in the midst of an immense and complex emergency operation.  We hope
 that others will follow her example and help us continue to protect the lives
 of the thousands of families fleeing their homes in Afghanistan," concluded
 the High Commissioner.
     Ms. Jolie's Journal about her August visit to Pakistan will soon be
 published on the USA for UNHCR website ( ).
     Facing a humanitarian crisis of perhaps unprecedented magnitude, UNHCR's
 $268 million emergency appeal covers the needs for six months of a possible
 influx of up to 1 million refugees into Pakistan; 400,000 into Iran; 50,000
 into Tajikistan; and 50,000 into Turkmenistan.  The agency is also doing
 additional contingency planning to supply aid to 500,000 people inside
 Afghanistan, if the necessity arises.
     The contingency plan involves a massive relief effort which includes the
 construction and maintenance of refugee camps and the delivery of more than
 80,000 tents, hundreds of thousands of health and hygiene kits and a huge
 amount of other relief items.  Much of it would have to be airlifted to
 Pakistan and Iran.  UNHCR said it could deploy up to 700 international and
 local staff to deal with the looming crisis, in addition to more than 500
 staff already working in countries neighbouring Afghanistan.
     UNHCR, which has won two Nobel Peace Prizes over the past 50 years, cares
 for some 22 million refugees and other uprooted people in more than 100
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SOURCE United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees