Jolie visits quake-hit Haiti

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Angelina Jolie, leaves after her meeting with the MINUSTAH Head of Mission, the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Edmond Mullet, at the UN Headquarters in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.. REUTERS/UN Photo/Sophia Paris
UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Angelina Jolie, leaves after her meeting with the MINUSTAH Head of Mission, the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Edmond Mullet, at the UN Headquarters in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.. REUTERS/UN Photo/Sophia Paris
Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie has visited earthquake victims in Haiti in her latest trip to help survivors of conflict and natural disaster as a goodwill envoy for a United Nations agency.

Jolie, 34, who has been a goodwill ambassador for the UN refugee agency UNHCR since early 2001, travelled to quake-shattered Port-au-Prince after visiting injured Haitian children in a hospital on February 8 in neighboring Dominican Republic.

The actress, who has been on numerous UN humanitarian missions to help refugees from more than 20 countries, was due to visit a hospital and other relief sites treating hundreds of thousands of hurt and homeless Haitian quake survivors.

The dark-haired Hollywood star waved to reporters when she visited a UN base near Port-au-Prince airport, before she was driven away in a white UN vehicle.

UNHCR officials in Port-au-Prince told reporters her visit was “private.”

In Geneva, UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic declined to give specifics about Jolie’s itinerary in Haiti, citing security reasons for its long-standing policy of not disclosing details of trips by its goodwill ambassadors.

On February 8 in the Dominican Republic, the actress visited a hospital in Santo Domingo where dozens of injured Haitians, mainly children, have been treated since the devastating January 12 quake in Haiti that killed more than 200,000 people.

“She talked to several children and to a Haitian woman who recognised her and asked her for help,” said Dario Manon, a doctor who accompanied Jolie on her tour of the Dario Contreras trauma hospital.

Jolie met Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez on Monday evening to discuss Haiti’s immediate aid needs, a government spokesman said. The president congratulated Jolie for her humanitarian work as a goodwill ambassador for the UN refugee agency, the spokesman said.

Jolie, her actor partner Brad Pitt, and a host of other Hollywood and pop music stars have donated money to the relief efforts in Haiti, and in some cases also led charity collections for quake victims.

Pitt and Jolie were among the first to reach out to Haiti by donating US$1 million from their foundation to Doctors Without Borders, which also received US$1 million from actress Sandra Bullock. Sean Penn visited Haiti soon after the quake, and Madonna donated US$250,000 through Partners in Health.

Reuters

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