By Andrea López-Tomàs – Jan 28,2018 – JORDAN TIMES
UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie speaks during a visit to the Zaatari refugee camp on Sunday (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)
ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP — UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie on Sunday voiced appreciation for Jordan’s continued support to Syrian refugees since the outbreak of the crisis, urging world leaders to do more to resolve the conflict.
She made the remarks during a visit to Zaatari refugee camp, some 80km northeast of Amman, which is her fifth visit to Jordan since the crisis started.
“We thank the humanity and generosity that the Jordanian people showed, since the beginning of the war,” Jolie said.
Jolie highlighted the swift response of neighbouring countries such as Iraq, Turkey and Jordan, which host around 5.5 million Syrian refugees.
“They are an example to the world at a time when solidarity is not popular,” she affirmed.
The actress and activist also called on the UN and the international community to solve the conflict. “I urge the members of the Security Council to come to the region, visit the camps and talk to the refugees,” Jolie stressed.
During her visit to the camp, she met with a Syrian family and a community centre managed by young girls.
Jolie discussed the “alarming situation” of Syrian refugees by stating, “the vast majority of Syrian refugees live below the poverty line with less than 3 dollars a day”.
She denounced the devastating reality of the Syrian community, displaced around the region.
“Families are living without sufficient food, children are unable to get medical services, young girls are more vulnerable to early marriage, and many Syrians are facing another winter without proper shelter,” the actress noted.
Jolie criticised the lack of support to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which she said hampered its work and could affect refugee situation.
“UNHCR doesn’t have the funds to provide even the basic necessities for families to survive,” she said.
Jolie toured the camp, accompanied by her daughter Zahara, son Shiloh, and Stefano Severe, the UNHCR representative in Jordan.
During her press conference, the Hollywood actress thanked the journalists working on the field to bring Syria to the attention of the world.
“We know that the fundamental issue is not that people don’t know,” she explained, “but the lack of a credible political and diplomatic process based in human rights and international law to bring the violence to an end”.
Jolie referred to the Syrian people as “educated” and “capable”. “For them it is so destroying to be made so dependent,” she said.
“Humanitarian aid is not a long-term solution and, to be clear, no-one wants to get off of relief more than a Syrian family,” she added.
“We should never forget that the war began with the Syrian´s demands for greater human rights,” she highlighted in front of the international and national media. “Peace in that country has to be build on that.”
The activist said that the dignity and the human rights of Syrian families were “not negotiable” in the negotiation for the end of what she defined as a “senseless war”.
During her speech, she cracked jokes with the children of the Zaatari camp who were fascinated by her and concluded her talk complimenting them: “You are very strong, I am very proud of you.”