USMagazine, Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 4:40pm (PDT)
Angelina Jolie's humanitarian work is never done.
On June 20, the Oscar winner donated $100,000 to the U.N. Refugee Agency for its ongoing work with Syrian refugees. Jolie, a UNHCR special envoy, also released a special statement on behalf of World Refugee Day.
"UNHCR believes even one person forced to flee is too many. And it's true. Every individual refugee matters," she wrote. "Each has their own story. Each has suffered and survived more than I could ever bear. And yet, they rise up to live another day."
"We risk forgetting the individual when we speak in numbers, but the numbers tell an important story. In the past year, 4.3 million people have become displaced. There are still 2.7 million refugees from Afghanistan. Twelve million people are stateless. And for the fifth consecutive year the number of forcibly displaced people worldwide exceeded 42 million."
Jolie, who is currently engaged to Brad Pitt, 48, continued: "Sadly, a person who becomes a refugee is likely to remain one for many years -- often stuck in a camp or living precariously in the city of a developing nation. Seventy percent of refugees under UNHCR's protection have been in this situation for more than five years. Their safety and well-being depend on the continued generosity of those countries who have kept their borders open to refugees, and on the vital efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance wherever and whenever it is necessary."
Donations to the agency provide protection, shelter, clean water and life-saving assistance to refugees around the globe.
"Unfortunately, the world is producing displaced people faster than it is producing solutions to displacement. And the solutions are not exclusively humanitarian -- they are also political," she concluded. "The international community should rededicate itself to preventing conflict, addressing it when it erupts, and solving it more quickly, for that is the only way to create durable solutions for the refugees whose strength inspires us on this World Refugee Day."
Both Jolie and Pitt have dedicated themselves to bettering the world around them. In June 2011, the couple donated $500,000 to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, which supports mid-term and long-term rebuilding efforts in the Joplin, Missouri area; it had recently been destroyed by a series of tornados.
Five months earlier, Jolie and Pitt donated $2 million to the Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary in Namibia, where they had recently spent the holidays. The decision was partly inspired by her daughter, Shiloh, now 6, who was born in the African nation in 2006. "We want her to grow up with an understanding of her country of birth," Jolie explained at the time.
Jolie and Pitt are also parents to Maddox, 10, Pax, 8, Zahara, 7, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 3.