Angelina Jolie tells Al Arabiya long-term solution needed for Syrian refugees

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Movie star Angelina Jolie has met with Syrian refugees in Jordan’s Zaatari camp, calling for a political solution to Syria’s civil war and saying that “humanitarian aid is not a long-term solution.”

The special envoy of the UN refugee agency spoke Sunday with refugee families and teenage girls in a UN-run community program.

“I admire refugees,” Jolie told Al Arabiya.

Jolie told Al Arabiya that countries that host refugees receive a lot of pressure from the international community to return them before its safe. She called for the provision of more care and education and programs.

“There is a lot of pressure from the international community for host countries to encourage return and sometimes before it is safe.

“What is important is that the people here are not being forced and that they are continuing to get care and that there is more new school programs and sanitation,” she said.

Children crowded around as she spoke in a patch of muddy space between hundreds of rows of caravans in the cold desert camp.

Jolie told the refugees she was very proud of them and that “you're very strong, all of you.”

Nearly 5.5 million displaced Syrians are hosted in Jordan, Lebanon and other neighboring countries. Jolie says the UN refugee agency only received half its funding appeal last year, and only seven percent of this year's request.

(with the Associated Press)

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