GENEVA (Reuters) – Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie will step down from her role as special envoy for the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) but will remain a humanitarian activist, the United Nations said on Friday.
Jolie, who has been on more than 60 field assignments during her 21 years with UNHCR, said she wanted to continue working with refugees outside of the global body.
“I will continue to do everything in my power in the coming years to support refugees and other displaced people,” Jolie said in a statement announcing her departure.
“After 20 years working in the UN system, I feel it is time to work differently, engaging directly with refugees and local organizations, and supporting their advocacy for solutions,” he said.
Jolie has been a UNHCR special envoy since 2012.
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This year he visited Yemen and Ukraine to meet with displaced people.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi thanked him for his service, commitment and the difference he has made for refugees and people forced to flee.
“After a long and successful time with UNHCR, I appreciate your desire to change your commitment and support your decision,” Grandi said. “I know the refugee cause will remain close to his heart, and I am sure he will bring the same passion and attention to a broader humanitarian portfolio.”
UNHCR estimates that never before have so many people been forced from their homes by violence, conflict and persecution. It is estimated that more than 100 million people are currently displaced around the world.
(Reporting by Emma Farge; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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