Angelina Jolie, a Hollywood actress, will step down as a special envoy for the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) but will continue to be a humanitarian campaigner, the UN announced on Friday.
Jolie, who has worked with UNHCR for 21 years and has been on more than 60 field missions, stated that she would want to continue working with refugees outside of the global organisation.
“I will continue to do all in my power to help refugees and other displaced people in the years ahead,” Jolie said in a statement announcing her resignation.
“After 20 years of working within the United Nations system, I believe it is time for me to work differently, connecting directly with refugees and local organisations and supporting their advocacy for solutions,” she added.
Jolie has served as the UNHCR’s special envoy since 2012.
She travelled to Yemen and Ukraine this year to speak with refugees.
The U.N. Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, commended her for her work, devotion, and the difference she has made for refugees and individuals forced to escape.
“After a long and successful career with UNHCR, I respect and support her choice to change her engagement,” Grandi added. “I know she will keep the refugee cause near to her heart, and I am confident she will bring the same passion and care to a broader humanitarian portfolio.”
According to the UNHCR, there have never been as many people displaced from their homes due to violence, conflict, or persecution. It is estimated that over 100 million people are now displaced worldwide.