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Angelina Jolie

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A Special Envoy for Refugee Issues

After years of dedicated service to UNHCR and the cause of refugees, Angelina Jolie in April 2012 was appointed as Special Envoy of UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. In her new and expanded role, she will be focusing on major crises resulting in mass population displacements; undertaking advocacy and representing UNHCR and Guterres at the diplomatic level; and engaging with decision-makers on global displacement issues. Through this work, she will help contribute to the vital process of finding solutions for people displaced by conflict.

Jolie previously represented UNHCR as a Goodwill Ambassador, and in this role she conducted more than 40 field visits around the world, becoming well-versed in the phenomenon of forced displacement and a tireless advocate on their behalf.

Angelina Jolie Fact Sheet

An unflagging determination to give a voice to refugees and internally displaced people, undertaking advocacy on their behalf to facilitate lasting solutions.

Angelina Jolie's Journals & Books

Read more about Jolie's personal impressions and reflections during her field missions as Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR.

Angelina Jolie Field Missions

Find out more about Jolie's missions to the field, where she has been and what she has been saying.

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Angelina Jolie visits Baghdad   Play video

Angelina Jolie visits Baghdad

On her recent trip to the Middle East, UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie met internally displaced Iraqis and refugee returnees to Baghdad.

Angelina Jolie visits Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the Middle East

In her new role as UNHCR Special Envoy, Angelina Jolie has made five trips to visit refugees so far this year. She travelled to Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey in September 2012 to meet some of the tens of thousands of Syrians who have fled conflict in their homeland and sought shelter in neighbouring countries. Jolie wrapped up her Middle East visit in Iraq, where she met Syrian refugees in the north as well as internally displaced Iraqis and refugee returnees to Baghdad.

The following unpublished photos were taken during her visit to the Middle East and show her meeting with Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

Angelina Jolie visits Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the Middle East

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie visits Ecuador

Angelina Jolie, in Ecuador this past weekend, on her first field visit as the new Special Envoy of UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.

In her previous role as a UN refugee agency Goodwill Ambassador, Jolie has conducted more than 40 field visits over the last decade. This is her third time in Ecuador - home to the largest refugee population in Latin America.

Ecuador currently hosts some 56,000 refugees and 21,000 asylum-seekers. It continues to receive 1,300 new applications for refugee status each month from people fleeing Colombia. Many live in remote and poor areas of the country close to the Colombian border.

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie visits Ecuador

Angelina Jolie in EcuadorPlay video

Angelina Jolie in Ecuador

Angelina Jolie meets Colombian refugees in Ecuador during her first field visit as Special Envoy of the High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.
UNHCR pays tribute to Goodwill Ambassador Angelina JoliePlay video

UNHCR pays tribute to Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie

In recognition for her extraordinary commitment and dedication to refugees for over a decade UNHCR pays tribute to Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie.
Angelina Jolie WRD 2011 messagePlay video

Angelina Jolie WRD 2011 message

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie asks you to do one thing to help refugees.

The 2011 Nansen Refugee Award

At this year's Nansen Refugee Award presentation ceremony in Geneva, the UN refugee agency paid tribute to award-winning American actress Angelina Jolie and Yemeni humanitarian aid group, the Society for Humanitarian Solidarity, for their outstanding work for refugees over many years.

Jolie was recognized for completing 10 years as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. The American actress joined UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres to present the Nansen Award to Nasser Salim Ali Al-Hamairy for his NGO's live-saving work in helping tens of thousands of desperate boat people arriving on the coast of Yemen from the Horn of Africa.

The Nansen Refugee Award was created in 1954 in honour of Fridtjof Nansen, the legendary Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat and politician who in the 1920s became the first international High Commissioner for Refugees. It is given annually to an individual or organization for outstanding work on behalf of refugees and consists of a commemorative medal and a US$100,000 prize donated by the governments of Switzerland and Norway.

The 2011 Nansen Refugee Award

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie promotes reintegration of Afghan returnees

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie in March 2011 returned to Afghanistan. On her second trip to the country, the acclaimed actress called for greater focus to be put on the reintegration of former refugees. More than 5.5 million refugees have returned since 2002, mainly from Pakistan and Iran, and now make up 20 per cent of the population. UNHCR is concerned that too many of these refugees continue to live without jobs, shelter and other basic needs.

Jolie caught up with several families she had met in 2008, still living in a dilapidated warehouse in Kabul. She was moved to see the families struggling to survive in the cold damp building. Children spend their days washing cars for money instead of attending school; the old and sick told Jolie of their pain to be such a burden on the young.

The actress also visited returned refugees living on the Alice Ghan and Barikab land allocation schemes north of Kabul. The returnees told her they were grateful for their houses but needed help with livelihoods. Jolie also visited Qala Gadu village, where she is funding the construction of a girls' primary school.

Angelina Jolie promotes reintegration of Afghan returnees

Angelina Jolie Returns to EcuadorPlay video

Angelina Jolie Returns to Ecuador

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie returned to northern Ecuador for the first time in eight years, meeting refugees from Colombia.
Angelina Jolie  in IraqPlay video

Angelina Jolie in Iraq

During a day-long visit to Baghdad, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie visited a makeshift settlement for internally displaced people in the Chikook suburb of north-west Baghdad where she met with four families displaced from the district of Abu Ghraib and from the western suburbs of the Iraqi capital.
World Refugee Day 2010Play video

World Refugee Day 2010

WRD Message: UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie says don't forget refugees
UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie visits HaitiPlay video

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie visits Haiti

Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie visits Haiti to show solidarity with earthquake victims and those helping them. She said she came to listen and learn.