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UNHCR Envoy Angelina Jolie urges "much more" assistance for refugees in Iraq
January 26, 2015, 8:37 am

US movie star and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie has said that the needs of people displaced in the crises affecting both Syria and Iraq "outstrip the resources available," adding, "much more international assistance is needed." Jolie made the comments, in her capacity within the UN refugee agency, during a visit to Iraqi Kurdistan's Dahouk on Sunday where she met Syrian refugees and displaced Iraqi citizens in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Since her last visit to Iraq in September 2012, the scale and gravity of the humanitarian situation have increased dramatically, as the conflicts in Syria and Iraq intensify and become intertwined.

"It is shocking to see how the humanitarian situation in Iraq has deteriorated since my last visit," she said. On top of large numbers of Syrian refugees, two million Iraqis were displaced by violence in 2014 alone.

"Many of these innocent people have been uprooted multiple times as they seek safety amidst shifting frontlines," Jolie was quoted as saying in a UNHCR statement.

"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," she said.

"The needs so dramatically outstrip the resources available in his vast crisis. Much more international assistance is needed," added the Special Envoy.

On her 5th visit to Iraq and her 6th visit to Syrian refugees in the region, she added, "too many innocent people are paying the price of the conflict in Syria and spread of extremism."

According to the UNHCR, more than 3.8 million Syrians have fled to the neighbouring states of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. Another 7.6 million Syrians are displaced inside the country.

There are some 3.1 million internally displaced Iraqis throughout the country, including a million who had been displaced between 2003 and 2013, and 2.1 million who were displaced in 2014.

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