Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie, special envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), reached Bangladesh on Monday to visit the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar district where Rohingya Muslims families have been staying since August 2017 after fleeing from ethnic and religious persecution in neighboring Myanmar.
Jolie will assess UNHCR activities, meet officials and interact with the Rohingyas at the camps, local media reported. She is also scheduled to address the media on Tuesday.
As of 15 August 2018, according to the UNHCR, over 723,000 refugees had fled to Bangladesh since 25 August 2017, after being driven out by a brutal military crackdown, which a top UN official had described as a textbook case of “ethnic cleansing”.
Angelina Jolie is likely to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday. She will leave Dhaka the same day.
Angelina Jolie was appointed UNHCR special envoy in April 2012. Previously, she represented UNHCR as a Goodwill Ambassador from 2001-2012. In her new role, Jolie focuses on major crises that result in mass population displacements, representing UNHCR at the diplomatic level. She also engages with decision-makers on global displacement issues.
In 2018, Indian actor Priyanka Chopra, who is also a known Hollywood face now, visited the Rohingya refugee camps as global UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Child Rights.
Nearly all Rohingyas who arrived in Bangladesh during the influx since August 2017 have been sheltered in and around the refugee settlements of Kutupalong and Nayapara in Cox’s Bazar district. Some joined relatives already settled there. The huge scale of the influx is putting an immense pressure on Bangladesh in terms of facilities and services.
The UNHCR, together with its partners, is supporting the Bangladesh government to respond to the massive humanitarian needs.