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Angelina Jolie visits Pakistan, meets with flood survivors

09/07/2010 by Corinne Heller

In this photo provided by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Angelina Jolie, right, the goodwill ambassador of UNHCR, talks with a flood-affected women during her visit to a camp for people displaced by heavy floods in Nowshera, Pakistan, Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/United Nations High Commission for Refugees, J. Tanner) Angelina Jolie visited Pakistan on Tuesday and met with survivors of floods that have killed more than 1,600 people and rendered some six million homeless.

"It's clear this crisis is far from over," the UN quoted Jolie as saying about her fourth trip to the country since she became a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador in 2001.

"People have lost everything: their homes, their belongings, their crops and cattle, and their livelihoods," she said. "Long after the cameras have gone, people will be struggling to rebuild their lives."

The flooding has left one-fifth of Pakistan - an area slightly larger than the state of Arizona - under water and the UN has called it "one of the most complex humanitarian crises of recent times." Jolie last visited Pakistan in November 2005 after the devastating earthquake in the northern part of the country.

On Tuesday, she met with several of the approximately 5,000 residents of the farming village of Mohib Banda. About 70 per cent of the homes there were destroyed or damaged by the waters.

"There was a small stream outside the broken homes," she said. "It was full of a mix of feces, flies, old shoes and old clothes that had been recently washed into the water."

"We must not forget flooding is not the only trauma plaguing this country," Jolie added. "They are still rebuilding infrastructure from the earthquake of 2005. One problem does not negate the other, one headline should not pull focus from the many complexities of the situation in Pakistan."


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