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Angelina Jolie visits the Old City in West Mosul during a visit to Iraq with UNHCR Special Envoy on June 16, 2018.
Andrew McConnell/UNHCR
Citizenship

Angelina Jolie Visits Syrian Refugees in Iraq: 'People Here Have Lost Everything'

By Joanna Prisco

Angelina Jolie visited Mosul and other devastated cities in Iraq this weekend, urging the world not to forget about the region.

The UN special envoy and Oscar-winning actress made her fifth trip to the country with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency — this time touring areas previously held by ISIS and meeting with with Syrian refugees, according to Reuters.

Take Action: Ask World Leaders to Pledge to the Education Cannot Wait Fund for Kids in Crisis

“This is the worst devastation I have seen in all my years working with UNHCR. People here have lost everything,” Jolie said in a statement.

“They are destitute. They have no medicine for their children, and many have no running water or basic services,” she continued.

Angelina-Jolie-UNHCR-Iraq.jpgAngelina Jolie meets Falak, 8, during a visit to West Mosul with UNHCR Special Envoy, on June 16, 2018. Falak has a gene disorder and PTSD, she spoke to Jolie about seeing a man killed in front of her during the ISIS occupation of the city.
Image: Andrew McConnell/UNHCR

The Domiz Camp, located in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, is currently home to 33,000 Syrian refugees displaced by seven years of civil war.

But funding for UNHCR has fallen dramatically, the actress said in a news conference.

Read More: Syria Still World's Largest Displacement Crisis, UN Says

“There are terrible human consequences. When there is not even the bare minimum of aid, refugee families cannot receive adequate medical treatment. Women and girls are left vulnerable to sexual violence, many children cannot go to school, and we squander the opportunity to invest in refugees,” she told reporters.

UNHCR will soon release its annual figures that show that the number of displaced people globally, and the duration of their exiles, are “the highest they have ever been,” she said.

Read More: UK Pledges £750M to Keep Syrian Hospitals Open Despite 'Relentless Attacks’

Families have been in refuge so long they’ve turned what was once a tent city in the Domiz Camp into a neighborhood of concrete homes.

“It is deeply upsetting,” Jolie said in a statement released by the UN, “that people who have endured unparalleled brutality have so little as they try, somehow, to rebuild the lives they once had.”

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