<p>‘Everyone deserves the same compassion’, said the Academy Award winning actor </p>

‘Everyone deserves the same compassion’, said the Academy Award winning actor

Angelina Jolie says ‘we cannot be selective about who deserves support’ as she meets refugees in Yemen

Referencing the conflict in Ukraine, Jolie wrote that ‘the people of Yemen also need protection, support and peace’

Joanna Whitehead
Monday 07 March 2022 16:12
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Angelina Jolie has called on her followers not to forget the people of Yemen as she touched down in the war-stricken country on Sunday.

The Academy Award-winning actor arrived in the country to meet with displaced refugees in her role as a special envoy for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Sharing a series of images to her 12.4 Instagram followers after landing in the country to “show my support” and provide aid, her fourth and final image was a statement which referenced the current conflict in Ukraine.

“This week a million people were forced to flee the horrific war in Ukraine,” it began.

“If we learn anything from this shocking situation, it is that we cannot be selective about who deserves support and whose rights we defend. Everyone deserves the same compassion.

“The lives of civilian victims of conflict everywhere are of equal value. After seven years of war, the people of Yemen also need protection, support, and above all, peace.”

Her words come as some commentators have accused people of seeing Ukrainians as more worthy of sympathy than people in Afghanistan, Yemen and Iraq, where similar conflicts are raging.

At the end of February, CBS foreign news correspondent Charlie D’Agata apologised after stating on air that the attack on Ukraine could not be compared to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan because the Eastern European country was more “civilised”.

After the clip went viral on social media, D’Agata apologised for his comments, saying: “You should never compare conflicts anyway, each one is unique. I used a poor choice of words and I apologise for any offence I may have caused.”

Jolie, who has worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for almost two decades, added that the people in Yemen “also desperately need peace”.

“The situation here is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with one civilian killed or injured every hour in 2022,” she wrote on social media.

“An economy devastated by war, and over 20 million Yemenis depending on humanitarian assistance to survive.”

Yemen has been involved in a civil war with both the Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi-led Yemeni government and the Supreme Political Council's Houthi movement claiming to run the country since 2014.

Millions of Yemeni civilians are facing starvation due to famine, while more than 100,000 have reportedly died amid the conflict.

In 2020, Boris Johnson’s government cut its spending on international aid from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent, prompting condemnation from all three of the Conservative Party’s living ex-prime ministers.

After aid to Yemen was cut by 60 per cent, Theresa May was among 24 Conservative MPs to accuse the government of “turning its back on some of the poorest people in the world”.

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