Hollywood actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie, who is on a visit to Pakistan to meet people displaced by catastrophic floods, said on Wednesday she had “never seen anything like this before.”
She urged the world to act on climate change before it was too late.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Jolie said in a video released by the Pakistan military after the actor visited the National Flood Response Coordination Center (NFRCC) in Islamabad on Wednesday. The deputy chairman of NFRCC Ahsan Iqbal welcomed Jolie and thanked her for visiting Pakistan during the most devastating floods in the country’s history.
“I really cannot imagine what it feels like to be there,” she said in the video. “Often we speak of appeals, reliefs, and supports but this is something very very different. I think this is a real wake-up call to the world about where we are at.”
The monsoon season caused unprecedented flooding that scientists say was exacerbated by climate change. Around 1,600 people have been killed since mid-June and nearly 33 million people affected in the country of 220 million. The floods have swept away homes, crops, bridges, roads, and livestock.
“I really cannot imagine what it feels like to be there,” she said. “Often we speak of appeals, reliefs, and supports but this is something very very different. I think this is a real wake-up call to the world about where we are at.”
The Hollywood actress and UN Goodwill Ambassador said she would make all possible efforts to let the world know the scale of devastation in Pakistan and the life-saving support that was needed.
“I am absolutely with you in pushing the international community to do more,” the actor said. “Now we are in a situation like this, where the needs are so great and truly every effort is either a life or death for so many people”.
“I’ve seen those lives who were saved,” she said, adding that without sufficient aid, others “won’t be here in the next few weeks, they won’t make it.”
“They won’t make it, too many children, so malnourished and even if they make it through the next months, the winter coming and the destruction of the crops and the harsh reality,” Jolie said. “I am overwhelmed but I don’t feel it’s fair to say that because I am not living in this so I will just simply try to speak out and help.”
Jolie was previously in Pakistan on humanitarian missions after an earthquake in 2005 and floods in 2010. This time she is on a trip with the International Rescue Committee, and visited and met with flood-affected people in the southern Sindh province.