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LOCAL > Jolie back to Turkey for refugees

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The UN refugee agency’s special envoy, actress Jolie (C), arrives at Al Zaatri refugee camp in jordan. REUTERS photo

The UN refugee agency’s special envoy, actress Jolie (C), arrives at Al Zaatri refugee camp in jordan. REUTERS photo

Hollywood star and U.N. special envoy Angelina Jolie is expected to visit refugee camps in the southern Turkish province of Hatay tomorrow, sources closely involved with the issue told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.

It is not yet clear whether Jolie will stay in Turkey for more than one day, or whether she will accompany U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) Antonio Guterres who will pay a two-day visit to Turkey over the course of tomorrow and Sept. 14. Jolie’s last visit to Turkey was in June 2011 to Hatay’s Altınözü district.

Jolie also visited the refugee camp in Jordan, which currently hosts about 30,000 Syrians displaced by the violence.

“I am very concerned, the world is very concerned,” The Associated Press quoted Jolie as saying during her high-profile visit, which aimed to focus international attention on the plight of Syrian refugees and to attract more funding to help them. “What is very heartbreaking is when Syrian people ask you why you think no one is able to find a solution for them.”

“What they described on the ground, hearing it from them is so horrific,” she said, adding that the children’s stories were especially moving. Guterres appealed to the international community to “help us and help the Jordanian government ... in order to be able to massively invest in improving the living conditions of refugees in this camp ... please help us.”

In Geneva, meanwhile, UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said the number of refugees who have fled Syria for neighboring countries since the start of the conflict nearly 18 months ago had reached more than 250,000.

“The latest figures show that more than a quarter of a million Syrian refugees (253,106 people) have now been registered in the surrounding region, or are awaiting registration,” Edwards said, according to Agence France-Presse.

September/12/2012

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