Speaking from a displaced-persons camp in northern Iraq on Sunday, Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie asked the worldwide community to pledge more financial support for refugees in Syria and Iraq to prevent a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.
The U.N. refugee agency, the UNHCR, is facing a a severe budgetary shortfall. Last year, it only received a little over half of the $337 million needed to fund a program for internally displaced Iraqi and Syrians, it reported in a press release.
“It is shocking to see how the humanitarian situation in Iraq has deteriorated since my last visit,” Jolie told media on her fifth trip to Iraq as a special UNHCR ambassador.
According to the UNHCR, over 7 million Syrians and almost 2 million Iraqis remain internally displaced from the ongoing Syrian civil war and attacks by the extremist group ISIS. Almost 4 million Syrian refugees are scrambling to survive in neighboring Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan.
“We are being tested here as an international community and so far, for all the immense efforts and good intentions, the international community is failing,” Jolie said.