Dhaka – Hollywood mega-star Angelina Jolie has visited parts of Rohingya camps in south-eastern Bangladesh to see difficulties that the refugees have been facing in squalid camps.
Jolie flew to Cox’s Bazar, the south-eastern Bangladeshi district where more than 1 million Rohingya refugees sheltered after driven away by military in neighbouring Myanmar, in the morning and went straight to Teknaf to visit a camp as a special envoy of the UN refugee agency, said an official on Monday.
The American actress, who also founded the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, will assess the humanitarian needs of the refugees living in the camps.
Abul Kalam, commissioner of the Rohingya, Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC), told reporters that she would also look into other challenges that Bangladesh had been facing since the 2017 exodus of refugees from Myanmar.
During her three-day visit she will hold meetings with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Abul Kalam Abdul Momen and other senior officials in Dhaka, UNHCR spokesman Joseph Tripura said.
The special envoy will discuss how the UN agency can best support the current response led by Bangladesh government and the need for sustainable solutions to the crisis, according to the UNHCR statement.
She will stay in Cox’s Bazar, where the world’s largest refugee settlements have been built after the exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, until Wednesday.
More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar army launched crackdown against suspected insurgents in August 2017. Unknown number of people were killed and that women were allegedly raped by the soldiers and their Buddhist vigilante groups during the so-called military ‘clearance operation’.
The United Nations termed the operation as an example of ethnic cleansing.
The visit comes ahead of the launch of a planned appeal by UNHCR to raise 920 million dollars to meet the basic needs of the refugees and the host community in Bangladesh in 2019.
Jolie earlier met with displaced Rohingya Muslims in July 2015 in Myanmar and in 2006 in India.