After 21 years of kind and loyal service, Angelina Jolie has stepped down from her role as Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a star with a desire to “work differently” and on broader humanitarian issues.
• Also read: Angelina Jolie in Lviv to meet the displaced
“After 20 years working within the UN system, I feel it is time for me to work differently, to engage directly with refugees and local organisations,” the actress said in a statement released by UNHCR on Friday.
Angelina Jolie has been a valued humanitarian partner for UNHCR for a very long time. Filippo Grandi, head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said:
Angelina Jolie – one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood – has completed more than 60 field missions over the years, adding stardom and media certainty to her travels for the refugee cause. She was appointed UNHCR Special Envoy in 2012.
The statement said she recently traveled to Yemen and Burkina Faso with UNHCR to meet displaced people who have experienced “two of the world’s most underfunded and underreported emergencies”.
In June 2021, on World Refugee Day, she pleaded for more solidarity and made what she saw as false excuses not to do more during her visit to the Jodobo camp in Burkina Faso.
“It’s not that we’re on the verge of breaking – it’s already broken. The way we as an international community try to resolve conflict and insecurity is shattering,” she said.
“I have never been more interested in the state of forced displacement in the world,” she said. Since then, the number of refugees and internally displaced persons has continued to increase, passing the 100 million mark in mid-2022.
More than 53 million people have been forced to flee their homes in their country, and 32.5 million people have had to leave their homes in an attempt to settle elsewhere.
Ms. Jolie did not elaborate on her future humanitarian commitments.
“I know that the refugee issue will remain close to her heart and I am sure that it will bring the same passion and interest to a broader humanitarian file,” said Grandi.