Angelina Jolie, who has been working at the UN refugee agency as a goodwill ambassador for the past ten years, has been promoted to special envoy to draw attention to some of the world’s worse humanitarian disasters using her fame.
In her new role the Oscar-winning actress, will represent the UN at a “diplomatic level”, focusing on “large scale crises resulting in the mass displacement of people”.
It is the first time the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has named a special envoy.
Elsewhere in the global body, such posts are usually reserved for career diplomats or retired politicians.
Jolie has visited more than 20 countries in her role for the UN including Afghanistan
“Her work does go substantially beyond what we would typically see as being the normal role of a goodwill ambassador,” the Sky News quoted Adrian Edwards, UNHCR spokesperson, as saying.
“I don’t think you need a rocket scientist to see the benefits that she is bringing in terms of the attention that she is getting for the plight of the world’s displaced,” Edwards said.
Jolie, who recently got engaged to her partner Brad Pitt, has travelled to more than 20 countries for the agency, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Haiti, Iraq, Pakistan and Sudan.
As well as giving her time to the agency, she has also donated large amounts of money to the organisation - which is dependent on voluntary contributions.
The 36-year-old will not be receiving any monetary compensation for her role, and has rather given at least 5m dollars which has helped build schools in Kenya and Afghanistan.
Her interest in humanitarian affairs was instigated while she was filming Tomb Raider in Cambodia, and when she researched the agency’s work in Sierra Leone in 2001.
UNHCR works to help almost 35 million refugees and internally displaced people around the world.It was established to aid millions of Europeans displaced during World War II and has since become one of the world’s most prominent humanitarian organisations.