Angelina Jolie when she visits places as Special Envoy for the UN Refugee Agency, the cameras follow. Such was the case in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey this week when Jolie and the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees visited camps set up to house Syrians fleeing the violence in their home country.
Since the start of the conflict in March 2011, some 235,000 Syrians have fled to other countries. In recent weeks, the pace of refugee flows out of Syria has hastened at an alarming rate. Last month alone, over 100,000 Syrians fled violence in their country. That is a massive population flow for just one month, and there are no signs that the exodus will slow anytime soon.
So far, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq have been welcome hosts to Syrian refugees. They deserve our thanks, and also support. As of last month, a $193 million international appeal for Syrian refugees was only 54% funded. Donors need to step up. These countries are on the front lines of the Syria crisis and are acting in a decent way befitting of a good neighbor.
They are also doing the international community a great service by living up to their international obligations and welcoming refugees, despite the burden in might impose on their own citizens.