TALLAHASSEE, Florida — Angelina Jolie is one of the most well-known actresses in Hollywood. Over the last few decades of her life, she has dedicated her time to supporting charities and championing for humanitarian causes internationally. In 2012, Angelina Jolie was appointed as a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which designates her as a representative of international refugees on a diplomatic level. Recently, Angelina Jolie visited Pakistan in late September to call attention to Pakistan’s most recent historic flooding and elicit humanitarian support for the millions of people that the recent floods have affected.
Flooding in Pakistan
Relentless monsoon rains and subsequent flooding have been burdening Pakistan for months, leaving the country in dire need of humanitarian aid. Floods have impacted more than 33 million people in Pakistan. Angelina Jolie’s visit to Pakistan provided her with the opportunity to speak with victims of the flooding firsthand, and to amplify their stories on her social media platforms. Angelina Jolie documented her visit on Instagram in an effort to increase the visibility of the widespread devastation for her 13 million followers to see.
Angelina Jolie visited Pakistan’s Sindh Province, where over 40,000 square miles of land were submerged underwater. Angelina met with women in Sindh who experienced the largest impact of the floods and listened to their stories. After her conversations with victims, Jolie recounted that “Families are sleeping under open skies and have lost everything in these floods”.
In Sindh, she specifically spoke with women whose villages were ravaged by floodwater and discussed the new challenges that they must face. Victims who have lost their homes are now struggling to secure access to food, drinking water, and medical attention. Angelina Jolie encouraged her followers to become informed about these aspects of the crisis and shared resources for donations.
Refugees in Pakistan
Angelina Jolie also called attention to the displaced refugees who have taken shelter in Pakistan, considering that Pakistan is home to over 1 million refugees, many of which are Afghan.
Jolie explained on her Instagram that people who seek refuge in Pakistan are unable to safely return to their home countries and are now in more dangerous positions due to the floods. Over the course of Angelina Jolie’s visit to Pakistan, she specifically spoke with people who had fled the Taliban and were now struggling with additional trauma due to the flooding. Jolie wrote in her post that overwhelming numbers of Pakistani citizens and refugees are in need of emergency assistance.
A Major Threat
Pakistan’s unprecedented floods are a major threat to the stability of the country. In addition to residential devastation, the flooding has destroyed 3.6 million acres of crops and wiped out thousands of rural Pakastani’s only forms of income.
Pakistan’s stability is largely dependent upon its environment, which has become increasingly susceptible to climate catastrophes including heatwaves, drought and floods. On social media, Angelina Jolie emphasized that Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate disasters is an environmental issue. She encouraged her large following to become informed about Pakistan’s recent floods and spread awareness of the crisis. She provided links and resources for Pakistan’s victims in her Instagram biography and used hashtags such as #PakistanFloods and #WithRefugees to amplify her message.
– Dylan Priday