Angelina Jolie decries ‘explosion of human suffering’

Angelina Jolie has described a spiralling global refugee crisis as an “explosion of human suffering” whose causes the international community refuses to confront.

Angelina Jolie decries ‘explosion of human suffering’

Jolie, who serves as a UN special envoy for refugees, was speaking at a news conference in south-eastern Turkey, home to Syrians and Iraqis displaced by war, on World Refugee Day.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR said in a report last week that there were now more refugees than at any other time in history, with 59.5m people displaced from their homes worldwide.

“There is an explosion of human suffering and displacement on a level that has never been seen before,” Jolie said, warning that Syrians and Iraqis were running out of safe havens as neighbouring states reached the limit of their capacity.

“It is hard to point to a single instance where, as an international community, we are decisively addressing the root causes of refugee flows,” she said.

Jolie and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres met Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in the city of Midyat, some 50km from the Syrian border. She also visited refugees.

This was Jolie’s third visit to Turkey since 2011, when the conflict in Syria began. The war has displaced more than 3m refugees, or almost a fifth of the pre-war population.

Turkey shelters 1.8m Syrian refugees, as well as thousands of Yazidis, whose ancient religion draws on Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam, who fled attacks by Islamic State in Iraq last August.

Turkey has spent €5.3bn on assisting Syrians alone.

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