ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan: UN goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie urged the UN Security Council to “find a way” to solve Syria’s nearly eight-year war during a tour Sunday of a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan.
“It is heartbreaking to return to Jordan and witness the levels of hardship and trauma among the Syrian refugees as this war enters its eighth year,” the Hollywood star said at the Zaatari camp.
Jolie, a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said Syria’s neighbors Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq now host around 5.5 million refugees from the conflict.
“They really are an example to the world at a time that solidarity with the refugees is in short supply,” she told reporters after meeting with families living in the camp which is home to about 80,000 people.
“Humanitarian aid is not a long term solution,” she said, urging Security Council members to take action and solve the war which broke out in March 2011.
“This is a crisis that has been out of control for years. UNHCR does not have the funds to provide in full even the most basic necessities,” she said.
The UNHCR response for the Syria conflict was “only 50 percent funded” last year and only seven percent since the start of 2018, she said.
Jolie, who was on her fifth trip to Jordan, said “it is soul-destroying” for Syrian refugees “to be made this dependent.”
“So I would urge the Security Council members to come to the region, to visit the camps and the urban refugees, and find a way to finally bring the full weight of the UN and international community to bear to solve this conflict,” she told reporters.
“My message to the international community today… please do more to help meet the needs of desperate Syrian families, and the countries hosting them.
“But above all please provide the leadership and strength needed to negotiate a principled end to this senseless war, without sacrificing the dignity and human rights of Syrian families. That is non-negotiable,” she said.
The UN refugee agency says it has registered more than 650,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan since the conflict in Syria began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.
However, Amman says it is hosting 1.3 million Syrian refugees, and has repeatedly called for more assistance to do so. AFP