The celebrity philanthropists are at it again!
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie recently donated $340,000 to the Humanitarian Initiative Just Relief Aid, with the money earmarked for refugee women and children in Somalia. According to the organization, which helps fund health programs in Somalia, the money will be used for “Badbaado health services clinic which helps 300 people per day.”
Their donation comes on the heels of an award ceremony in Geneva, where Jolie was honored for a decade of work as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Council on Refugees. According to the UNHCR, her work with refugees was recognized in front of more than 800 government officials, diplomats, donors and aid workers. She was awarded with a gold pin.
She addressed the UNHCR’s governing Executive Committee at the event, saying, ”Today, three-quarters of a million people are at risk of death in the next four months in the Horn of Africa. The work we are doing needs to scale up to meet the needs of these individuals. How we continue to respond to this period of malnutrition and famine is going to define the work of those NGOs, governments, and international organizations working in the Horn of Africa. It will, quite starkly, determine whether a huge number of people live or die.”
Jolie is also set to possibly take on a new role with UNHCR: that of Special Representative to Afghan refugees. UNHCR High Commissioner António Guterres, who has nothing but praise for the actress, said that she is “the very best of the goodwill ambassadors that exist in the humanitarian world”, and he wants Jolie “become our special envoy mainly for the most dramatic refugee situations that require a lot of advocacy.”
Although Jolie has not confirmed that she will accept the new position, it seems likely, given her dedication to refugees. At her UNHCR ceremony, she said, ”I’m so grateful to the many refugee families that I have had the honor and privilege to spend the last years with. From them I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned to become a better person, a better mother. They’ve inspired me by showing me every day the unbreakable strength of the human spirit.”