(10 May 2007) - UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie and actor Brad Pitt have donated one million dollars towards the humanitarian effort assisting more than four million people affected by the crisis in Darfur.
The donation from the Jolie-Pitt Foundation will go to three agencies playing key roles in Darfur and neighboring Chad: the UN Refugee Agency; the International Rescue Committee and the international NGO, SOS Children's Villages. All three agencies are active in providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to the more than two million people displaced within Darfur and the 240,000 refugees from Darfur living in camps in eastern Chad.
“This generous donation comes just months after Angelina Jolie made a personal visit to a refugee camp in Chad and it shows, once again, her and Brad Pitts’ commitment to helping refugees and the displaced,” said Michel Gabaudan, UNHCR’s Regional Representative for the United States and the Caribbean. “As Goodwill Ambassador, Ms Jolie’s continued support of UNHCR and those we seek to help is a powerful force in ensuring they are not forgotten.”
In New York, George Rupp, president of the International Rescue Committee, said, "This donation will make a real difference in the lives of thousands of vulnerable people. We are grateful to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for remembering them."
Jolie has visited the region three times. During her recent visit to the Oure-Cassoni camp she said she was struck by the sense of hope she encountered and by the widespread desire for peace-keepers to be deployed in eastern Chad.
It was in Oure-Cassoni where Jolie met staff working for SOS Children's Villages, who are providing psychological assistance to traumatized children.
“The children benefit enormously from the therapy,” said Yolanda van den Broek, project leader of the Emergency Relief Program of SOS Children's Villages in Chad. “Children who at first did not speak, did not eat and who were isolated in their own worlds, are now playing happily and are able to interact with others.“