Thursday, February 02, 2006

Angelina's Interview on Nightline and the UNHCR

Good interview Angelina. You go girl. Graciously putting the heat on! Trying to find more
information on the bill you have helped passed that is signed by President but stalled?!!
The one that assures human rights and legal rights to Aids orphans entering the country.
Once I find I will post here along with the Declaration of Human Rights document that
was referred to. Keep up the good work and way to put your money where your mouth
is (1/3 of your Hollywood millions!) The Universe is smiling. The chasm is brighter.

But now for some important basic facts that aren't so pleasant


The basics from an Angelina Jolie fan site

In 1950, the U.N General Assembly established the UNHCR or otherwise known as United Nations High Comissioner for Refugees. The organisation then had just 3 years to resettle a staggering 1.2 million refugees in Europe who had unfortunately been left homeless by global rivalry. The situation got worse over the years. There was a large increase in the number of refugees and so the order was extended to 5 years and eventually the General Assembly removed the mandate and left the UNHCR time until refugee situations were resolved. Now, there are more than 6000 workers helping 17.1 million people in over 100 countries all over the world. The UNHCR has won two Nobel Prize awards in the last 50 years for their constant effort to help refugees and for providing aid to more than 50 million people.
UNHCR at work
Refugees are people who have been made to flee their home countries because of situations involving conflict over race, religion or nationality and who do not wish to retire home. UNHCR has the job of protecting these people and attempt to help them begin their lives over in a much better surrounding.
The agency must respect every refugees human rights and guarantee that no person shall be returned to a country where they are in fear of persecution.The UNHCR staff including field workers and goodwill ambassadors work in many different countries all over the world from capital cities to isolated camps on country borders. Refugees face many fears of violence and sexual assault and workers must ensure that these persons do not feel under any threat from this nature of violence and they feel secure in their environments.
The agency must find appropriate solutions to get people back to their homes in safety and endeavor to make sure they come to no harm.
UNHCR Changes
When UNHCR was first founded it was a somewhat small agency as refugee numbers and situations were a lot less then but it has greatly increased to becoming a immense organization with offices in 112 countries all over the world. It since has a budget of $1 billion per year, the ability of providing material relief and legal protection and the capability of helping an increased number of displaced people.
Refugee is the term used for a person who has had to flee their homeland and seek refuge in another country but there are many millions of people who are in related circumstances but are not legally qualified as refugees. These people then are not qualified for the relief or protection. There are around 20-25 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) worldwide. They have fled from their homes, usually during wars, but have not left their homeland to seek a new home. UNHCR assists to over 4.4 million of these people but there is a new debate-taking place as to how humanitarian communities can supply more sustained aid to these people.
Emergency Relief
Protection and material assistance are permanent. UNHCR can only put forward legal protection is a persons needs, which include shelter, food, water, sanitation and medical care are met likewise. Resource tents are made using blue plastic sheets and are instantly recognisable in large-scale emergencies including operations in various countries such as Chad Iraq and Afghanistan to help people.
Quick Impact Projects (QIP’s) were invented by UNHCR. These projects include rebuilding schools and clinics, repairing roads and building bridges and wells. The project attempts to create a divide between long-term aid and emergency aid.
Solving the problem
After World War II, UNHCR had to strive to resettle many refugees. The numbers of refugees were increasing and the countries receiving the refugees had a change in attitude. Most countries and states accepted these people but only on a temporary basis. The bulk of refugees would sooner return home.
To help, UNHCR provides transportation, seeds and farming tools and handles finances. When it is not possible for refugees to return to their homeland they must be permanently settled in countries where they first sought asylum.
Averting Disaster
UNHCR is strong enough to handle large-scale emergencies but it is sometimes possible to avert emergencies from occurring. It tries to prevent large population movements from trouble areas by using resources. Early warning systems can be put in place to prevent conflicts before they get out of hand.
Over the years, refugee and humanitarian crises have increased and become more complicated, UNHCR now works with many more other organisations. The main sister organisations are World Food Programme (WFP) which is a supplier of basic food to refugees, the U.N children’s fund (UNICEF), the world health organisation (WHO), the U.N development programme (UNDP), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Funds are needed to help people and most funds UNHCR uses comes from voluntary contributions, usually from the government but also from other organisations and individual donations. UNHCR also accepts contributions such as tents, medical aid such as medicines and trucks or aircraft.
The number of persons involved with UNHCR rose dramatically by 1994 hitting 27 million and its budget also rose to $1 billion annually. It has several budget programmes including support programmes to cover emergencies, etc.
A Helping Hand
Countries produce millions of refugees every century and the numbers keep increasing. Every country in the world has been affected in some way by refugee related issues. Countries that are unspoiled from any chaos still provide shelter, food and aid to many refugees. After the Cold Wars, Europe became crowded with millions of displaced persons and has recently become a light of hope to many other persons.
People can become a refugee in a matter of days. They can lose their homes, jobs and even families. They are not any danger towards others but they just need a place to shelter and plenty of help until they can reorganize their lives again. Once the situations in their homelands return to normal, most refugees prefer to return to their homes although some may stay in the countries they have sought shelter to.
Helping All Over the World
The UNHCR how gives aid and assistance in many countries. These countries include:
EuropeThere is a high amount of asylum and immigration and it is highly politicised. The number of asylum decreased dramatically in 2003, governments still introduce new laws to attempt to reduce the in pouring.
The Balkans Many problems remain here even though there has been considerable progress to make changes after the Balkan Wars in the 1990s. After the wars, more than 2 million people returned home but still 600,000 people remain displaced across the area.
North Caucasus50,000 displaced persons still receive assistance from UNHCR after the war in Russian Republic of Chechnya.
The Palestinian IssueThere are more than 4 million Palestinian refugees are reported globally. Most of them are under the care of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency but UNHCR helps the 400,000 Palestinian refugees who are outside the UNRWA operational zone.
IraqMore than 3 million Iraqi civilians went into exile and a further 1 million people were uprooted inside the country during Saddam Hussein’s rule. UNHCR now helps 100,000 refugees in Iraq and the largest number are Palestinians.
AfghanistanMore than 3.5 refugees and displaced persons from Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001. However, more than 2 million still remain in Pakistan and Iran.
Horn of AfricaThere are still many refugees remaining in this area. More than 900,000 Somalis and Southern Sudanese are in constant refuge in Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Following the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan, more than 180,000 Sudanese fled to Chad.
Central Africa There are still 1.2 million refugees remaining throughout many of the states in central Africa. However, many refugees are now thankfully returning home.

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