Jolie urges aid for Horn of Africa
Geneva - Hollywood star Angelina Jolie on Tuesday pleaded with the international community to step up aid to the Horn of Africa, saying that its response would determine "whether huge numbers of people live or die".
"Today three-quarters of a million people are at risk of death in the next four months in the Horn of Africa," Jolie told envoys gather at a meeting of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees' executive committee.
"This astonishing number of at-risk lives is the reason this is termed the humanitarian crisis of the generation. The work we are doing needs to scale up to meet the needs of these individuals," noted the goodwill ambassador for the UNHCR.
"How we continue to respond to the situation of malnutrition and famine is going to define the work of NGOs, governments, and international organisations working in the Horn of Africa.
"It will quite starkly determine whether huge numbers of people live or die," added Jolie.
The actress acknowledged that rich countries are feeling budgetary pressures, but she urged them to "remain committed to the world's most vulnerable people".
Drought, high food prices and relentless combat in Somalia have pushed the number of those in need of humanitarian assistance across the Horn of Africa up to 13.3 million, according to UN data.