Disasters & Accidents

Angelina Jolie arrives in Pakistan to support flood victims

Islamabad, Sep 20 (EFE).- Hollywood actor and activist Angelina Jolie arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday on a trip intended to draw international attention to the country’s unfolding humanitarian crisis in the wake of unprecedented rains and floods.

National broadcaster PTV aired footage of Jolie, who is also special envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, on a chopper accompanied by security officials and a media team.

During this visit, Jolie looks to highlight the need for urgent support for the Pakistani people and long-term solutions to address the multiplying crises of climate change, human displacement and protracted insecurity witnessed globally, the nonprofit International Rescue Committee (IRC) said in a statement on Monday.

“International humanitarian Angelina Jolie is with the IRC visiting Pakistan to see and hear from people affected by recent floods,” IRC said on Twitter.

“With more rains expected in the coming months, we hope her visit will help the world wake up and take action,” it added

Unprecedented rains in 30 years and the consequent floods have ravaged the south Asian nation which has already seen four heat-waves during the year, which accelerated the melting of glaciers in the north of the country.

The government and the UN have blamed climate change for the catastrophe.

According to the country’s National Disaster Management Authority, a total 1,559 people, including 551 children, have died and more than 33 million people have been displaced since the monsoon season started in mid-June.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited the calamity-hit country on Sep.9-10, and called for “massive support” from the global community.

The UN has launched a flash appeal of $160 million to help the victims.

The visit by Jolie is expected to draw more attention from the international community to the plight of the flood-affected people.

“Ms. Jolie is visiting to witness and gain understanding of the situation, and to hear from people affected directly about their needs, and about steps to prevent such suffering in the future,” IRC said in its statement.

It added that she would visit the organization’s emergency response operations and meet workers assisting displaced people.

The humanitarian aid organization said that during this visit, Jolie would get a first-hand view of how countries like Pakistan are paying a great cost for the crisis that they did not cause.

It further expressed hope that her visit would shed light on this issue and prompt the international community – particularly states with the largest carbon emissions – to act and provide urgent support to countries bearing the brunt of the climate crisis.

The popular actor and humanitarian previously visited Pakistan following a major earthquake in 2005, and after the devastating floods of 2010 in a bid to draw international attention to the two natural calamities that left thousands dead. EFE


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