Angelina Jolie made a trip to northern Iraq Sunday to meet with Kurdish refugees and gave an impassioned speech calling on the worldwide community to do more as "innocent people pay the price." This was her her fifth visit to the country since 2007 as special ambassador to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
“Since I was last here in Iraq, another two million people have been forced from their homes,” said the actress and humanitarian at the displaced persons camp. “Mostly in the last six months – this time Iraqi citizens."
Angelina called on world leaders to do more to bring an end to conflict in Syria and Iraq. The 39-year-old spoke to the families who have been misplaced by conflict. Dressed casually in a black North Face jacket and black jeans, she gave a speech to the hundreds of refugees gathered as well as politicians.
“Too many innocent people are paying the price of the conflict in Syria and spread of extremism,” she continued. “The international community has to step up and do more.”
The Unbroken director added during her press conference at the Khanke Camp for Internally Displaced People (IDPs): “It is not enough to defend our values at home. We have to defend them here, in the camps and in the informal settlements across the Middle East, and in the ruined towns of Iraq and Syria. We are being tested here, as an international community and so far – for all the immense efforts and good intentions – we are failing.”
Angelina, who spent her first day in Iraq visiting Yazidi refugees and touring their camp stated, “Nothing can prepare you for the horrific stories of these survivors of kidnap, abuse and exploitation and to see how they cannot all get the urgent help they need and deserve.” While there, she met ISIS or ISIL victims and in particular a group of elderly women who were among nearly 200 Yazidis recently released by insurgents.
She noted, “I have met mothers whose children have been kidnapped by ISIL. As a parent, I couldn’t imagine a greater horror. They are overwhelmed by thoughts of what is happening to their children.”
The mother of Maddox, 13, Pax, 11, Zahara, 10, Shiloh, 8, and 6-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox has fought long and hard for refugees. More than a million of them are now living in the region as a result of the Syrian civil war and ISIS overtaking large swathes of Iraq.