Angelina Jolie Pitt Comforts Emotional Syrian Refugee Children During U.N. Trip to Greece
Continuing her humanitarian efforts to aide the thousands of Syrian refugees displaced in Greece, the special envoy greeted people, even comforting a crying boy with a warm embrace.
Jolie Pitt, 40, arrived in the port of Piraeus on Wednesday after speaking out about the growing refugee crisis a day earlier in Lebanon. Greece has been particularly impacted by the Syrian Civil War and conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, with 1,000,357 refugees entering Europe through Greece since Jan. 1, 2015, according to the UNHCR.
“I am here to reinforce efforts by UNHCR and the Greek government to step up the emergency response to the deteriorating humanitarian situation,” Jolie Pitt said in a press release Wednesday. “I look forward to meeting authorities, partners and volunteers working on the ground to improve conditions and ensure the vulnerable are protected.”
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The actress and director has developed personal relationships with some of the refugees she’s met since 2014, including 13-year-old Hala, who lost both her parents and lives in Lebanon with her sisters and brothers.
Jolie Pitt joined Hala’s family for dinner earlier in the week, and learned of the group’s hope to eventually return to a war-free Syria.
“So many refugees are children,” Jolie Pitt previously told PEOPLE. “I’ve often heard them say that the most painful thing is not that they have lost their homes – it is that they have lost their friends.”
Charging for leadership to take action, Jolie Pitt said on Tuesday that response to the ongoing crisis has been “tragic and shameful.”