The UNHCR special envoy says Syrian refugees are facing 'desperate times'
Angelina Jolie pleads for more aid after visit to refugee camp in Iraq
Hollywood star Angelina Jolie appealed for more international support for people displaced by war after seeing the conditions in a refugee camp in northern Iraq on Sunday.
Jolie, a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), toured the Domiz Camp, home to 33,000 Syrian refugees, near the town of Dohuk in Kurdistan, northern Iraq.
"Words like 'unsustainable' don’t paint a picture of how desperate these times are," she said.
Speaking ahead of World Refugee Day on Wednesday, the Oscar-winning actress spoke of growing medical shortages in the camp.
"I met two mothers this morning, both of them widows. They both lost their husbands while living as refugees, to medical conditions that could normally have been treated," Ms Jolie said.
She urged world leaders "to find a better way forward together, so that we move into a new era of preventing conflict and reducing instability, rather than simply struggling to deal with its consequences".
A day earlier, Jolie met residents of Mosul and walked through streets reduced to rubble in the battle to retake the northern Iraqi city from ISIS, describing it as "the worst devastation I've seen".
She called on the international community "not to forget Mosul", where many people have no running water, medicine or assistance to repair their homes, almost a year after it was liberated.
"There are millions of refugees and displaced people who want to return home and to work and start over — as I saw in Mosul yesterday, where brick by brick, with their own hands, they are rebuilding their homes," she said.
Mosul was retaken by Iraqi forces last July after three years of brutal ISIS rule. The battle for the city left an estimated 10,000 people dead and much of its densely populated old city in ruins.
This was Jolie's fifth visit to Iraq since taking on her UNHCR role in 2001.