Angelina Jolie Calls for Aid to Pakistan Flood Victims

Star meets with refugees and appeals for money

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Hollywood actress and the goodwill ambassador of UNHCR, Angelina Jolie visits a camp setup for people displaced by heavy floods, in Mohib Banda near Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

    Angelina Jolie, who is seen in third world countries almost as much as on movie screens, met with Pakistani flood victims Tuesday and issued an appeal for aid after the disaster left millions homeless.

    Jolie, who serves as a "goodwill ambassador" for the U.N.'s refugee agency, is in the stricken nation for two days in a bid to persuade foreign governments and citizens to send money and aid.

    Jolie, 35, wore the traditional black robe and head scarf as she met with mothers who lost their children and elderly residents who lost their homes.

    "I am very moved by them and I hope that I am able to, today and tomorrow, be able to do something to help bring attention to the situation for all of the people in need in Pakistan," Jolie told reporters after visiting a refugee camp in the Jalozai area.

    Flooding began in late July after monsoons swelled the Indus River, washing away hundreds of villages and towns and killing more than 1,700 people. Another 17 million have been affected by the floods, and many will need emergency assistance to survive.

    The United Nations issued an appeal for $460 million in emergency funds on Aug. 11, but only $294 million, or 64 percent, has been received so far, and donations have more or less dried up in recent days.

    "We need more ... well-known figures who can keep the spotlight and focus because people tend to forget internationally," said Ajay Chhibber, a U.N. assistant secretary general, who is also the U.N. development agency's regional director for Asia. He spoke to reporters during a visit to Islamabad.

    The UN's refugee agency has delivered help to almost 750,000 people, but continued flooding in many areas of southern Pakistan is creating new challenges for relief efforts.

    "Pakistan remains in the midst of a massive humanitarian crisis as flooding continues across vast areas," said Mengesha Kebede, UNHCR's representative to Pakistan.

    Selected Reading: The Associated Press, UN Refugee Agency, IMDB.