Angelina Jolie is known not only as a public figure because of her work in the entertainment industry, but also as the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, and instead of attending this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, the actress made a trip to northern Iraq and visited victims of ISIS who have been displaced in refugee camps.
According to Us Weekly, Angelina Jolie traveled to northern Iraq on Sunday, January 25, to visit the Khanke Camp for Internally Displaced People. The camp reportedly is one of many refugee camps that house victims of ISIS, also known as the Islamic State and ISIL.
After taking the time to meet with some of the refugees, Angelina Jolie took part in a news conference where she claims that the “world is failing in its effort to address the refugee crisis in Iraq and Syria,” according to People.
“We are being tested here, as an international community, and so far – for all the immense efforts and good intentions – the international community is failing… Since I was last here in Iraq another two million people have been forced from their homes. The brutality of the conflict and the speed and scale of the displacement has shocked the world and help has come but not nearly enough.”
During her visit in Iraq and with the refugees, Jolie visited with many families who had been run out of their homes when ISIS invaded. Many of these families have lost children and other family members along the way, and according to Us Weekly, this cause is one that hits close to home for the actress and mother of six.
“I have met mothers whose children have been kidnapped by ISIL. As a parent, I couldn’t imagine a greater horror. They are overwhelmed by thoughts of what is happening to their children. Nothing can prepare you for the horrific stories of these survivors of kidnap, abuse and exploitation and to see how they cannot all get the urgent help they need and deserve.”
Angelina Jolie’s message had a call to action for all of those in the international community, claiming that “too many innocent people are paying the price of the conflict in Syria and spread of extremism.”
“The international community has to step up and do more. It is not enough to defend our values at home. We have to defend them here, in the camps and in the informal settlements across the Middle East, and in the ruined towns of Iraq and Syria.”
CBS News stated that more than 3.8 million Syrians have fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt, while another 7.6 million Syrians are displaced inside of the country. The efforts of those involved in the cause haven’t gone unnoticed, but a lack of funding has triggered a humanitarian crisis, according to Jolie. CBS reported that the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees claims to have only received 53 percent of the $337 million required to fund its response to internal displacement in Iraq and Syria in 2014.
[Image via Twitter]