Angelina Jolie Meets With Refugees on the Syrian - Jordanian Border

Posted on September 11, 2012

Photo of Angelina Jolie visiting refugees in Jordan

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie traveled to Jordan to meet with refugees as they cross the border with Syria. The Syrians are fleeing the violence. The government is attacking its own people and there are already 250,000 refugees. The United Nations has set up tent cities, but Jordan is being overwhelmed. Jordan has asked the international community for aid to meet the needs of the refugees, many of whom are children whose parents have been killed.

Angelina had high praise for Jordan: "Jordan continues to keep its borders open and to save lives. Considering the severe water shortages and the economic strain it is under, Jordan's contribution is extraordinary," said Jolie. Nasser Judey, the Jordanian Foreign Minister, traveled with Angelina to the area. He said that "until security and safety returns, we will keep our borders open and share with them [the refugees] what we have."

Angelina said that in ten years of working for the U.N., this is the first time she had met with people at the moment they crossed the border and became refugees, "rarely do you meet them as they cross the border, the moment they become a refugee, the moment they have lost their home, their schooling, their livelihood, everything they had." She said it was really hard listening to children tell her of the horrors they witnessed first hand, "They described body parts, separated, burnt people being pulled apart."

Later in the day, Angelina met with Jordan's King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein, Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh and other senior officials to discuss the growing refugee problem. The United Nations is making an urgent appeal for donations to help with the massive humanitarian crisis.

Photo: J. Tanner/UNHCR