As the world remembers World Refugee Day on Sunday 20th June 2021, we look back at 70 years of refugee journeys. Refugees move out of their native homes to foreign states for many reasons, such as wars, political instability, or even climate change. Imagine the pain and hardship of leaving your home for another, especially at such a time when the coronavirus pandemic is getting worse.
According to the latest reports from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, about 83 million people have been displaced due to war and persecution. Out of this number, more than 26 million are refugees. Statistics also show us that more than half of the refugees come from 3 different states. They are Syria, Palestine, and Venezuela, with Syria having the largest refugee population today (more than 5.5 million people).
Last year, there were over one million people from more than sixty-four countries became refugees.
Who is Angelina Jolie?
Angelina Jolie is an American actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian. She has won numerous awards, including an Academy Award and 3 Golden Globes, and is popular for being Hollywood’s highest-paid actress.
Jolie made her film debut as a child in Looking’ to Get Out. She appeared in the critically acclaimed biographical cable films George Wallace and Gia and she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the 1999 drama Girl, Interrupted.
Her starring role in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider as video game heroine Lara Croft established her as a leading Hollywood actress. She is popular for her work as a voice actress in the animated film series, Kung Fu Panda.
In addition to her film career, Jolie is popular for her humanitarian efforts, for which she has received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and been named an honorary Dame Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, among other distinctions. She advocates for a variety of causes, including conservation, education, and women’s rights, but she is famous for her work as a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Angelina Jolie has visited over a dozen refugee camps and war zones around the world, including Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, and Sudan.
Various media outlets have named her the world’s most beautiful woman. She is divorced from Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton, both actors.
Angelina Jolie in Burkina Faso
Her visit aims to draw attention to the global issue of human displacement.
Angelina Jolie said:
“Today, one in every ninety-five people is forcibly displaced.”
Angelina Jolie went on to say that the world needs to wake up to the global track we are on, where war and climate change could force hundreds of millions of people to flee their homes in search of safety or refuge elsewhere.
The state of Burkina Faso
The current displacement crisis in West and Central Africa’s Sahel region impacts Burkina Faso severely. Since 2019, over 1 million people have forcibly fled from their homes. The United Nations Refugee Agency’s response in Burkina Faso continues to be critically underfunded, with only 22 percent of the required funding being met.