Angelina Jolie Makes Third Trip to Iraq

Celebrity News Jul. 23, 2009 AT 12:10PM
Angelina Jolie Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie speaks with internally displaced people at a makeshift camp northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, on Thursday, July 23, 2009. Credit: AP Images/UNHCR/Boris Heger

Angelina Jolie made her third trip to Iraq on Thursday, offering support to hundreds of thousands of displaced Iraqis.

During her day-long visit, Jolie, 34, met four families displaced from the district of Abu Ghraib, located to the west of Baghdad, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

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The families that Jolie met complained that their children could not go to school and they could not afford to pay for medical treatment for various ailments.

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After one Iraqi complained to Jolie about his hardships, Jolie (a mother of six) told him, "It takes a lot of strength for you to survive this life. I don't know if I would be strong enough to survive this."

Jolie, a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, also cradled a newborn with a rash during her visit, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

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Before she left, the actress told locals: "I want to come back and find you in a better place and in a different situation. We hope that UNHCR and the government will support you in getting a piece of land. You need help not because you are poor, but because you are the future of Iraq."

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"Despite the difficult times," Jolie said, "There are some changes. There are returns of displaced people, not a big number, but there is progress."

Jolie first visited Iraq in August 2007, talking to 1,200 refugees. She returned last February. Of her third trip, the actress said, "This is a moment where things seem to be improving on the ground, but Iraqis need a lot of support and help to rebuild their lives."

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