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Jolie to donate $1 million for refugees

GENEVA, Switzerland (CNN) -- Actress Angelina Jolie plans to donate $1 million to the U.N. refugee agency to help Afghan refugees.

The Academy Award-winning actress -- who is a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees -- is the first individual donor to respond to the agency's appeal for more than $580 million to meet the needs of refugees along the Afghan borders. During the past year, Jolie has also contributed to UNHCR programs for refugees in Africa and Asia.

High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers Friday thanked Jolie for her support.

"This significant contribution from a concerned young American reinforces my belief that, despite the trauma of recent events in her country, a strong sense of humanitarian responsibility toward innocent civilians suffering in far-off places continues to animate the spirit of caring individuals everywhere," Lubbers said.

"The generosity of our good ambassador, Angelina Jolie, has encouraged all of us in the midst of an immense and complex emergency operation. We hope that others will follow her example and help us continue to protect the lives of the thousands of families fleeing their homes in Afghanistan."

Jolie, 26, went to Pakistan in August to visit some of the more than 3.5 million Afghans living in camps there and in Iran. Her journal about the visit will soon be published on the USA for UNHCR Web site (at www.usaforunhcr.org).

The actress, who appeared on Thursday's "Larry King Live," said the people responsible for the terrorism should be "dealt with and severely," but pointed out that the refugees -- who number in the millions and are mostly women and children -- are innocent and in need of support.

The refugees are "beautiful people and they're tortured people, and they are surviving and amazing to meet. But, they will be affected. Already last Sunday, as most people know, the U.N. agencies were seized by the Taliban and the food was taken away and a lot of people depend on this food," Jolie told King.

Facing a humanitarian crisis of perhaps unprecedented magnitude, UNHCR's on Wednesday appealed for $268 million to help it deal with the crisis. But Thursday, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said $584 million will be needed, counting the amount other U.N. agencies will need in addition to UNHCR's budget.

The amount is intended to cover the projected needs of up to 7.5 million Afghan civilians over the next six months both inside and outside the country.

In addition to UNHCR, agencies involved include the World Food Programme, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization and others.

Jolie won a 1999 best supporting actress award for her work in the film "Girl, Interrupted."



 
 
 
 



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