The pair spend Thanksgiving with earthquake survivors in the hard-hit country

By Marla Lehner
Updated November 25, 2005 08:00 AM

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt spent their Thanksgiving in Pakistan, where they met survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit the country in October.

Pitt and Jolie, a United Nations goodwill ambassador since in August 2001, traveled to the devastated town of Balakot, in North West Frontier Province, and a tent camp for quake survivors who lost their homes in the disaster, Reuters reports. The couple also “participated in an airlift of food, blankets and tarpaulins to a remote village,” according to a statement released by the U.N. High Commission for Refugees.

“It’s a huge situation … nobody sitting at home has any idea what this really looks like. It’s unbelievable,” Jolie said Friday at a press conference in Islamabad, which Pitt did not attend.

The actress said she hopes help can be delivered to the victims in a timely fashion. “There’s so many wonderful pledges of money that could come in the next few years, but this winter is in the next few weeks,” she said. “So many people are in danger of possibly freezing to death.”

The Oct. 3 quake killed more than 73,000 people, and about 3 million people lost their homes in the disaster.

Jolie said she was particularly moved by one little boy about the same age as her son Maddox, 4. “He was so happy because his sister survived the earthquake and they didn’t think she would,” she said.

Of the survivors, she added: “You see them and you realize, after speaking to them for a while, that they are still, understandably, very traumatized.”

Jolie and Pitt announced their intentions to visit Pakistan on Tuesday at the UNHCR headquarters in Geneva, where both stars received briefings on refugees’ situations around the world. “I’ve been looking deeper into specific issues that affect refugees’ daily lives,” Jolie said shortly before boarding her flight to Pakistan, according to the UNHCR.

As for Pitt, “He seemed very interested in our work,” Jennifer Pagonis at the UNHCR, said Wednesday.