GENEVA, Switzerland — Angelina Jolie roughly diminished to tears Monday as she honored a Yemeni aid group at an awards ceremony which also identified her works around the previous ten years as a U.N. refugee agency goodwill ambassador.
Jolie took the stage to praise the Geneva-based agency and Yemen’s Culture for Humanitarian Solidarity, which won the agency’s best yearly award for helping countless numbers of Somali refugees and migrants who take off for Yemen in smuggler’s boats across the risky Gulf of Aden.
“The desperation fueled by a vicious combination of drought, famine and conflict has driven tens of thousands of people from the Horn of Africa,” Jolie said.
“And we must not forget what is happening in this part of the world,” she said. “We must try to imagine how desperate these people must be, when their only alternative is to risk death at sea and put their lives in the hands of ruthless smugglers.”
Somalia has had transitional administrations for the past 7 years. But it has lacked working central authorities since 1991, when warlords overthrew a longtime dictator and then crooked each other, dipping the poor nation into disarray.
The transitional federal government, backed by African Union troops, has been fighting from al-Shabab insurgents — Islamic militants who abandoned Mogadishu in early August but still maintain a lot of southern Somalia, in which tens of thousands are measured to have starved to end and countless people have fled or experimented with to flee in the hope of finding foods.
Jolie mentioned the 290 staff of the Society for Humanitarian Solidarity, as nicely as its founder Nasser Salim Ali Al-Hamairy, are worthy of a lot credit score for risking their own lives to save countless numbers of other individuals every single year.
She said she’s looking forward to representing the UNHCR and its personnel for another 10 years.
“Most of all I’m so grateful — I don’t want to cry — to the refugee families that I have the honor and privilege to spend the last years with,” she said.
“From them I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned to be a better person, a better mother. They’ve inspired me by showing me the unbreakable strength of the human spirit.”