Angelina Jolie Meets With Refugees in Greece
Angelina Jolie is helping Greek officials step up their response to Europe’s refugee crisis. Fresh from attending a press conference in Lebanon on Tuesday, when she addressed the international community and urged leaders to do more to help those who have fled war-torn Syria, she touched down in the Greek port of Piraeus and took some time to meet with displaced citizens.
The actress and activist, a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), was photographed in the middle of a large crowd, greeting Syrian children seeking asylum in Europe, as she headed to the local UNHCR office, reports People. “I am here to reinforce efforts by UNHCR and the Greek government to step up the emergency response to the deteriorating humanitarian situation,” Angelina stated in a press release. “I look forward to meeting authorities, partners and volunteers working on the ground to improve conditions and ensure the vulnerable are protected.” Her visit took place a day after she publicly pleaded with top politicians to dedicate more aid to those displaced by the Syrian war, insisting the international community is failing desperate refugees. She highlighted the fact by stating officials in a number of countries have erected barriers to migration following the huge influx of refugees into Europe last year, and pleaded with other leaders to hold them to account. “The reason we have laws and binding international agreements is precisely because of the temptation to deviate from them in times of pressure,” the mother-of-six explained. The war in Syria between President Bashar Assad’s government, rebels and foreign jihadis has become an international story, becoming what U.N. officials describe as a humanitarian catastrophe. Half of Syria’s pre-war population of some 23 million has been displaced, with around five million having fled their homeland, mostly ending up in neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.