Angelina Jolie Visits Mosul And Calls For International Support
The Hollywood actor said it was the worst devastation she had seen.
What you need to know
- Jolie has visited Mosul less than a year after the city's liberation
- It is the actor's fifth visit to Iraq since 2001
- The UNHCR Special Envoy met with families trying to rebuild after surviving terror and displacement
Angelina Jolie has visited West Mosul in Iraq, urging the international community not to forget residents trying to rebuild their city.
In her role as UN Refugee Agency Special Envoy, Jolie walked among the bombed-out buildings lining the narrow streets of the Old City and met displaced families.
The Hollywood actor arrived in the city on Saturday, June 16, the second day of Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan.
"This is the worst devastation I have seen in all my years working with UNHCR," Jolie said.
"People here have lost everything: their homes are destroyed. They are destitute.
They have no medicine for their children, and many have no running water or basic services. They are still surrounded by bodies in the rubble.
"After the unimaginable trauma of the occupation, they are now trying to rebuild their homes, often with little or no assistance."
Normality has returned to many parts of Mosul, with displaced residents leaving camps nearby and going back home.
But the old city in West Mosul was largely destroyed during a campaign by a 100,000-strong alliance of Iraqi government units, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shi’ite militias backed by air support from a U.S.-led coalition.
Reconstruction has been slow.
"I have no words for the strength it must take to rebuild after loss like this," Jolie said.
"But that is what the people of this city are doing. They are grief-stricken and traumatised, but they are also hopeful. They are clearing their homes with their own hands, and volunteering and helping each other. But they need our assistance."
Jolie's visit, which marks her 61st mission and fifth visit to Iraq, comes less than a year after the city’s liberation in June and July 2017.