Jolie Urges Aid for Afghan Refugees

Hollywood star and U.N. goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie (search) made an emotional appeal to the international community to help millions of Afghan refugees (search) living in Pakistan.

Jolie spent four days touring sprawling refugee amps near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan and met Friday with President Gen. Pervez Musharraf (search).

"I ask the international community to do more to fund and to help shoulder the burden of this part of the world," she said Saturday.

She also stressed the need to develop war-battered Afghanistan so refugees — some of whom have been in Pakistan for over 25 years — can go home and build new lives.

"I met a woman who was about to get on a truck with a small baby," she said. "I do not know how she is going to survive, and how she will be able to make a living, to find food, to find health care. So it is very, very difficult but many people are moving back."

Since the fall of the hardline Taliban regime in late 2001, an estimated 2.3 million Afghans have gone back to their country under a U.N.-supported repatriation program. More than 3 million others remain in camps and cities in Pakistan.

The flight of Afghan refugees to Pakistan and other neighboring countries began with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, and continued into the 1990s because of a bloody civil war, the fundamentalist rule of the Taliban and years of drought.

Jolie, who won a best supporting-actress Oscar for 1999's "Girl, Interrupted," became a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 2001, and has visited refugee camps throughout the world.