Angelina Jolie Urges International Support for Venezuelan Children – PHOTOS
Angelina Jolie, the special envoy for the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR), began her two-day humanitarian visit to Colombia’s border area with Venezuela on Friday, June 7, 2019.
The U.N. said the number of Venezuelans who have fled their country since the start of 2016 has surpassed 4 million.
The rapid escalation of the number of migrants and refugees reflects the further deterioration of economic conditions.
The exodus comes amid a grinding political standoff between President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó.
Guaidó, who heads the opposition-controlled congress, revived a flagging movement in January by declaring himself interim president, quickly drawing recognition as Venezuela’s rightful leader from the U.S .and more than 50 nations.
On Friday, Jolie visited a border camp where Venezuelan migrants are staying in tents, and she is set to hold a news conference on Saturday in the Colombian region of La Guajira.
Jolie, after visiting a border area, praised Colombia’s treatment of the Venezuelan migrants, the biggest migratory influx in Colombian history.[irp posts=11989]
She said she had visited badly overcrowded schools and hospitals but had also seen “the inspiring humanity” of local communities.
Jolie met on Saturday (June 8, 2019) with Colombian President Ivan Duque to advocate for the estimated 20,000 children of Venezuelan migrants left with uncertain status after their parents fled their crisis-wracked home country.
“The president and I spoke of the risk of statelessness for more than 20,000 Venezuelan children,” Jolie said.
Jolie last visited the region in October, when she met Venezuelan refugees in Peru.