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Angelina Jolie Proclaims World is Failing Displaced Global Refugees

( [email protected] ) Mar 16, 2016 12:44 PM EDT
Humanitarian, actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie said Tuesday that the international community must address the root causes of the global refugee crisis. The actress, who often serves as a advocate for the United Nation's refugee agency, said as a diplomatic solution eludes politicians, simply coping with the growing humanitarian crisis is not a viable alternative.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Special Envoy Angelina Jolie visits Syrian refugees in the Bekaa valley, Lebanon, March 15, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Humanitarian, actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie said Tuesday that the international community must address the root causes of the global refugee crisis. The actress, who often serves as a advocate for the United Nation's refugee agency, said as a diplomatic solution eludes politicians, simply coping with the growing humanitarian crisis is not a viable alternative.

"We cannot manage the world through aid relief in the place of diplomacy and political solutions," she said at a press conference in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.

Jolie asked country officials to adhere to their international obligations to aid refugees.

"The reason we have laws and binding international agreements is precisely because of the temptation to deviate from them in times of pressure," she said.

"We need governments around the world to show leadership, to analyze the situation and understand exactly what their country can do, how many refugees they can assist and how."

The war has killed 250,000 people, displaced half of Syria's population and created Europe's worst refugee crisis since World War II. Talks on a political solution are under way in Geneva, but hopes of progress are modest, reports Reuters.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have sought refuge in the Bekaa. Lebanon hosts well over a million Syrian refugees, who now account for nearly a fifth of its population, reports Fox News.

Jolie said she had hoped to be in Syria helping victims return to their homes on the fifth anniversary of the uprising against President Bashar Assad. She said it's "tragic and shameful that we seem to be so far from that point."

There are now more people displaced through conflict around the globe than during World War II, according to the U.N.

The war in Syria, between Assad's government, rebels and foreign jihadis, has drawn in world powers and generated what the U.N. says is the largest humanitarian catastrophe in a generation.

Half of Syria's prewar population of some 23 million has been displaced, with around 5 million having fled their homeland, mainly to neighboring Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, reports Fox News.

The international relief organization OXFAM warned Tuesday that Lebanese municipalities are running out of space to bury deceased refugees.

"We should never forget that for all the focus on the refugee situation in Europe at this time, the greatest pressure is still being felt in the Middle East and North Africa, as it has for each of the last five years," Jolie said.

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Tags : Angelina Jolie, Lebanon, Bekaa, Refugees, Syria, United Nations, Jordan, turkey, Iraq, Bekaa Valley, Bashar Assad, Middle East, North Africa, international relief, displaced refugees, number of people killed in Syria