Angelina Jolie seeks more international support for Venezuela
June 9, 2019
Bogota [Colombia]: Hollywood star and special envoy for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Angelina Jolie on Saturday urged the international community to provide more support to Venezuela, from where the number of refugees and migrants has risen to over four million.
“The number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants has risen to over four million. Often those who have the least give the most. This is a life and death situation for millions of Venezuelans. But UNHCR has received only a fraction of the funds it needs, to do even the bare minimum to help them survive,” said Jolie in a statement. “The countries receiving them, like Colombia, are trying to manage an unmanageable situation with insufficient resources. But neither they nor humanitarian actors like UNHCR are getting the funds they need in order to keep the pace with the influx, and yet they still do everything they can,” she added.
The South American country has plunged into deep political crisis after opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself as the interim President amid throngs of cheering supporters who called for President Nicolas Maduro to step down.
Jolie, who was on a two-day trip to Colombia, met Venezuelan migrants there and Colombian President Ivan Duque in Cartagena.
She said that Colombia has still “kept its border open and is doing everything it can to absorb these unprecedented numbers of desperate people and provide them with housing, food and healthcare facilities.”
“It is extraordinary that a country facing so many huge challenges of its own has shown such humanity and is making these life-saving efforts. I want to acknowledge the bravery, strength, and resilience of the Colombian people,” the envoy said.
Jolie said that the countries which are reeling under crisis currently need humanitarian aid more than ever.
“That will be my message as I leave Colombia and in the months to come, as I try to follow up on what I have observed in the last two days. I will not forget what I have seen here, I will not forget the Venezuelan people I have met here. My heart is with them, and I hope to return again soon,” she noted.
Jolie’s visit comes ahead of the World Refugee Day, observed on June 20, as the UNHCR expects another significant rise in the overall numbers of displaced people worldwide, and a fall in the number of people being able to return home. (ANI)