Jolie and Pitt visit quake-hit areas

Published November 25, 2005

MUZAFFARABAD, Nov 24: Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrived in quake-hit Pakistan on Thursday as the UN refugee agency chief urged the world help prevent a further tragedy over the winter.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said it was time for international donors to repay the country for generously hosting millions of Afghan refugees over the past three decades.

“Pakistan has been the most generous host country in the world for refugees and it’s time for all of us to be very strongly committed towards helping the people who have suffered a lot in this worst disaster,” Mr Guterres told reporters in Muzaffarabad, the devastated capital of Azad Kashmir.

“What we are trying to do is to create conditions for people to be able to go over the winter without any tragedy,” he added. “That’s our commitment, that’s our concern, that’s what everybody together is working in order to achieve.”

Around three million Afghans still live in Pakistan.

Backed by foreign military teams and agencies, the country is now struggling to get food and shelter to around the same number of people left without shelter by the devastating earthquake.

Jolie — the UN High Commissioner for Refugees goodwill ambassador since — visited the 90-per cent destroyed mountain town of Balakot in a “show of support for survivors of the disaster”, the UNHCR said.

The Oscar-winner and Tomb Raider star also took part in a helicopter airlift of food, blankets and tarpaulins to victims of the quake, the agency said in a statement.

Pitt, with whom Jolie has been romantically linked, was also in Pakistan and accompanying her on some of her activities, witnesses said. —AFP

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