Jolie: World should do more for Syrian refugees

  • 16/03/2016
Angelina Jolie in Lebanon (AAP)
Angelina Jolie in Lebanon (AAP)

UN special envoy Angelina Jolie has urged world powers to do more to end Syria's five-year war and help the millions who have fled the conflict as she visited refugees in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.

The war has killed 250,000 people, displaced half of Syria's population and created Europe's worst refugee crisis since World War II.

Talks on a political solution are underway in Geneva, but hopes of progress are modest.

As a diplomatic solution eludes politicians, simply coping with the growing humanitarian crisis is not a viable alternative, Ms Jolie said.

"We cannot manage the world through aid relief in the place of diplomacy and diplomatic solutions," she said at a muddy camp in Saadnayel, about 15km from the Syrian border.

Refugees gathered around, bracing against heavy rain and wind.

"We need governments around the world to show leadership: to analyse the situation and understand exactly what their country can do, how many refugees they can assist and how."

Highlighting the huge refugee influx into Syria's immediate neighbours, which have been hosting millions of refugees, she said the problem was not "confined to the situations of tens of thousands of refugees in Europe".

Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon host the vast majority of the 4.8 million refugees created by the conflict.

The 1 million registered refugees in Lebanon represent a quarter of the country's population.

"The greatest pressure is still being felt in the Middle East and North Africa," Ms Jolie said.